A Life in the Dark
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Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year
The first biography of The New Yorker's influential, powerful, and controversial film critic.
A decade after her death, Pauline Kael remains the most important figure in film criticism today, in part due to her own inimitable style and power within the film community and in part due to the enormous influence she has exerted over an entire subsequent generation of film critics. During her tenure at the New Yorker from 1967 to 1991 she was a tastemaker, a career maker, and a career breaker. Her brash, vernacular writing style often made for an odd fit at the stately New Yorker.
Brian Kellow gives us a richly detailed look at one of the most astonishing bursts of creativity in film history and a rounded portrait of this remarkable (and often relentlessly driven) woman. Pauline Kael is a book that will be welcomed by the same audience that made Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution and Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls bestsellers, and by anyone who is curious about the power of criticism in the arts.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
A well-written book about a wonderful writer
I devoured Pauline Kael's New Yorker movie reviews for years. Many times, her reviews were more entertaining than the films themselves. What I like about this biography is the way it humanizes Pauline. I had put her on such a pedestal. It's heartening to know how much she struggled to achieve her lofty position in the literary world, and how much she sacrificed in the process. Well worth reading.