Although Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy probably only met once in their lives, their names will be linked forever in the history of American literary feuds: they were legendary enemies, especially after McCarthy famously announced to the world that every word Hellman wrote was a lie, “including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” The public battle, and the legal squabbling, that ensued ended, unsatisfactorily for all, with Hellman’s death.
In Imaginary Friends , Nora Ephron brilliantly and hilariously resuscitates these two bigger-than-life women to give them a post-mortem second act, and the chance to really air their differences.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: Imaginary Friends|
|Release Date: 11-25-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Imaginary Friends|
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A bare stage.
We see two women smoking. They are LILLIAN HELLMAN and MARY MCCARTHY. They're wearing suits and heels.
LILLIAN: Did we ever meet?
MARY: Once or twice.
LILLIAN: I don't really remember.
MARY: Well, then I don't remember, either.
LILLIAN: All right. Where was it?
MARY: At Sarah Lawrence College. Stephen Spender invited us to speak-
LILLIAN: I was invited. You turned up.
MARY: You thought I was a student because I looked quite young.
LILLIAN: I didn't even notice you.
MARY: My point. I walked onto the sunporch, and you were telling all of them a huge lie-
MARY: -about the Spanish civil war. I couldn't bear it. You were brainwashing them, and they were looking at you like wide-eyed converts. So I interrupted and corrected you. And we had a fight. [To the audience.] And I remember that on her bare arms, she had a great many bracelets, gold and silver-
A long string with a hook on the end falls from the rafters with a bunch of gold and silver bracelets dangling from it. LILLIAN puts them on.
-and they began to tremble in her fury and surprise at being caught red-handed in a lie.
LILLIAN holds out her arm and makes the bracelets jangle against one another, louder and louder.
LILLIAN: Like that?
MARY: Exactly. The incident at Sarah Lawrence was in 1948. I was teaching there at the time-
LILLIAN: I never had to do that. I did teach, but I never had to teach. Although once, after I testified, after I stood up on the bad morning before the House Un-American Activities Committee and said-