From The Selected Letters of Anton Chekhov
Lillian Hellman, who grew up in New Orleans and New York, made her reputation as one of America’s great playwrights before she was thirty. THE CHILDREN’S HOUR took New York by storm when it opened in 1934, ran for 691 performances on Broadway, and played in every major city in the United States. Her second triumph, THE LITTLE FOXES, which starred Tallulah Bankhead on the stage and Bette Davis in the film version, portrayed the selfishness and hypocrisy of a turn-of-thecentury Southern family and established Miss Hellman as a major American dramatist. The author of twelve plays in all and many film scripts, Miss Hellman has now written a book of extraordinary fascination and power. It is the memoir of the private, not the theater’s, Lillian Hellman, and in advance of its publication by Little, Brown and Company in June, we are proud to present a substantial excerpt. Originally planning to publish in two successive issues of the ATLANTIC, we decided that these pages from, AN UNFINISHED WOMAN deserved to be read at one sitting. We believe our readers will agree.