- File Size: 23872 KB
- Print Length: 560 pages
- Publisher: Other Press (January 28, 2020)
- Publication Date: January 28, 2020
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07R9TTHCL
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,085 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$30.00|
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The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler's Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
“Moving…brilliant…[Rifkind] performs an act of spiritual as well as cultural resurrection…Like the multitudes who came to 165 Mabery Road, you’ll be glad you met [Salka Viertel].” —Wall Street Journal
“Rifkind regularly takes issue with previous cultural historians who have denigrated Salka’s importance as a screenwriter…Rifkind writes engagingly and often passionately…[Salka’s] had been a remarkable life and she had been blessed with extraordinary friends, as Donna Rifkind again shows us.” —Washington Post
“Rifkind makes a passionate case for rescuing her subject from anonymity…[She] has done an enormous service in spotlighting the life of Salka Viertel: not only by telling a story that deserves to be better known, but also by implicitly making the case for more such books.” —Harper’s
“Among mid-twentieth-century America’s most influential women, Salka Viertel finally gets her due in Donna Rifkind’s marvelous, knowledgeable The Sun and Her Stars.” —Boston Herald
“An immersive biography…Chock-full of scandalous affairs and wartime atmosphere, this sparkling account brings overdue attention to a woman who helped make Hollywood’s golden age possible.” —Publishers Weekly
“Impressive…Rifkind chronicles in meticulous detail Salka’s substantial career in a hostile Hollywood studio system that regularly ignored the contributions of women…An impassioned and revelatory biography.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A study of a complex, openhearted woman who had a key role in saving the displaced while shaping mid-20th-century Hollywood. Rifkind has penned a perceptive, exhaustively researched contribution to social and film history.” —Library Journal
“[Rifkind is] a superlative chronicler of Old Hollywood…This tour de force of a biography tells the story of an overlooked hero who helped make Hollywood’s golden age gleam.” —Shelf Awareness
“In The Sun and Her Stars, Donna Rifkind delves into the fascinating, complex life and work of one of Hollywood’s unsung screenwriting legends and emerges with a rich and illuminating biography, one that Salka Viertel herself would have undoubtedly adored.” —Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, an Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece
“This book elegantly captures a splendid life and career worth remembering, its moving central portrait set like a brave feminist jewel amidst treacherous crosscurrents of history, in Europe and Hollywood, which echo eerily today.” —Patrick McGilligan, coauthor of Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist
“The best biographies tell the story not only of the individual but of the entire milieu in which they lived. Donna Rifkind does exactly this in her examination of Salka Viertel, a figure mostly unknown to the general public but whose life is a winding line from prewar Vienna to the coast of California at the dawn of Hollywood. This book is smart, questioning, insightful, and ultimately impossible to put down.” —Christian Kiefer, author of Phantoms: A Novel
“The unjustly forgotten Salka Viertel, premier memoirist of Hollywood’s Golden Age and so much more, gets a vital, comprehensive biography to call her own in Donna Rifkind’s lively and engaging The Sun and Her Stars.” —Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
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A valuable and graceful book that rescues Salka Viertel from being mostly famous as a minor character in Greta Garbo's life. Rifkind firmly establishes Viertel's unique place in history as someone who singlehandedly comforted a generation of European emigrees who made their way to Los Angeles in the 1930s to escape fascism and the murdering Nazis. The grace and richness of Rifkind's use of secondary sources is astounding, as she uses the words (from correspondence and memoirs, novels and films) of the dozens of distinguished writers, artists, actors who found a home in her home, to richly animate the life of the mind her house became for this embattled homeless group. Irwin Shaw, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann, Christopher Isherwood, Arnold Schoenberg, Billy Wilder are but a few.
For just one example, the following from the novel Prater Violet by Christopher Isherwood, about his character Friedrich Bergmann, based on Salka Viertel's husband Bertholdt: "The face was the face of an emperor, but the eyes were the dark mocking eyes of his slave." Or the title of this review, which Rifkind uses to describe Viertel's last view of Berlin when she left: "Beware, o wanderer, the road is walking too," from a poem by Rilke, another Viertel acquaintance.
Rifkind, with verve, density and grace, makes what could have been an exercise in esoteric filmography into a gripping cultural history of a singular woman and her courage in a terrible time. Highest recommendation!
Not so! I love this book for the enjoyable way it explained her contributions to movie scripts and friendships. She was the big essential for so many fleeing the Nazis who ended up in Hollywood.
Salka Viertel was a big-hearted, genuine woman. She had the gift of friendship. She was also a gifted actress and writer. And cook.
The book flows, it's a good read. It is well researched and balanced. Nice photos.
Challenging, thought provoking history. Sample: "As the National Socialists created their own system of legal inferiority for non-Gentiles, they also admired America's classification of residents of the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Philippines as 'non-citizen nationals.' They looked to America's Jim Crow laws which decreed marriage between whites and Negroes illegal."
I mostly enjoyed the Hollywood history and film study of the hits and the flops. To nitpick: too many names even film buffs won't recognize.