This book is utterly charming. I love everything Hanff has written, but this account of her experiences as a young woman in the world of New York theater is my favorite.
The first book by the author who also wrote 84 Charing Cross Road.
In it she details her (mis) fortunes in trying to have her Broadway plays accepted for production.
The tone is lighthearted even though she didn't achieve success in writing or make much money until the late 50s.
This is actually Helene Hanff's first book, published in 1961, a few years before she enchanted millions with her 84, Charing Cross Road. It's an episodic account of her years as a struggling playwright on Broadway, leading to how she ended up writing for television, and it overlaps (and never mentions) the period of her famous correspondence with Frank Doel and his staff at the London antiquarian book shop. We do meet a couple of friends who figure in 84, most significantly the irrepressible and incorrigible Maxine Stuart, a flame-haired actress who can't hold a tune (and yes, that is important).
I think my favourite chapter covers the how and why of being an "outside reader" which includes everything you need to know about The Lord of the Rings (warning: Hanff is *not* a fan). However, I recommend your reading it for yourself to find your favourite bits. A book you can put down and pick up again quite comfortably.
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