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A Likely Story; One Summer With Lillian Hellman

By turns heartbreaking and uproariously funny, A Likely Story portrays the coming-of-age of a brilliant and troubled young woman--a universal tale of illusions shattered and an object lesson in the often misdirected search for heroes.


Praise for A Likely Story:


"A likely story has the concentrated power of a brilliantly realized novella. . . . 'Never meet your heroes,' might be its motto.  Though Rosemary Mahoney pulls no punches in her rendering of Lillian Hellman, she is equally honest in portraying the judgmental, bratty powerlessness of adolescence.  Irresistibly readable, scandalously interesting, its true subject is not fame but shame, and its salutary role in the formation of a complex self.” -- Philip Lopate




The New York Times Book Review: “An endlessly fascinating book. . . .It was Hellman’s self-destructive misjudgment to hire a valet with a fierce sense of morality, an exquisite eye for detail, a sharp eye for character, a fanciful way with words, and a long memory. -- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt



The New York Observer: “Rosemary Mahoney brings to her memoir the shaping and insight and sheer good writing we expect from a work of fiction."  -- Frances Kiernan


Newsday: “This brave and heart wrenching book is the final evidence that, as far as writers go, Mahoney is the real thing.”


Los Angeles Times Book Review: “Mahoney’s characterizations are masterful.  She impeccably re-creates Hellman's friends and the emotions they summed up in her younger self.”


Tampa Tribune: “Mahoney…is an exquisite writer…the beautiful way she tells this story—a memoir actually—lifts it far above the typical tell-all book about a famous person.  There’s a deep, haunting quality about her words that stays with you.”


Library Journal: “In vivid images and exquisite dialogue the author relates her descent from awe for Hellman to pangs of humiliation.  . . . The combination of terse insights and rhythmic prose successfully reveals the strengths and frailties of both women.”


Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Heartbreaking and hilarious, Mahoney’s sharp prose illuminates this memoir of lost innocence and fallen idols.”


Austin American-Statesman: “The 273-page book whips along like a short story that bursts at the seams with sharp images and precise writing.”


The Denver Post: Mahoney’s prose is eloquent and simple, spiced with well-written dialogue.”


The Martha Vineyard Times: “What you immediately notice about Ms. Mahoney’s writing is her exacting eye for detail.


Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Heartbreaking and hilarious, Mahoney’s sharp prose illuminates the memoir of lost innocence and fallen idols.”



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