John O'Hara's Hollywood
Publication Date: February 2007
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On the sound stage and the casting couch, behind the facades of Spanish style mansions and inside studio trailers, at costumes and makeup, in posh nightclubs and in backrooms filled with cigar smoke, here are the ruthless producers, over-the-hill directors, disillusioned writers, glamorously callous actresses, desperate and hungry starlets, and matinee idols with dark secrets as they are unsparingly observed by one of America's most popular masters of realism.
Best known for the now-classic 1934 novel Appointment in Samarra and such blockbuster bestsellers as Ten North Frederick and Butterfield 8, in a career spanning four decades John O'Hara also published numerous story collections. Among his finest work, they highlight qualities that sold more than 15 million copies of his books in the course of his career: the snappy dialogue, the telling detail, the ironic narrative twist. Like the novels, and like the much-praised collection of John O'Hara's Gibbsville stories, also edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli, the selections in John O'Hara's Hollywood, many originally appearing in the New Yorker or the Saturday Evening Post, explore the materialist aspirations and sexual exploits of flawed, prodigally human characters for whom arrangements consitute a deal and compromises pass for love.
Matthew J. Bruccoli is the Jefferies professor of English at the University of South Carolina; the editor of numerous books on American writers, among them The Selected Letters of John O'Hara; and the author of numerous titles, including the biographies Some Sort of Epic Grandeur (of F.Scott Fitzgerald) and The O'Hara Concern. He lives in Columbia South Carolina.