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Set against an atmospheric backdrop of New York City in the months just before America s entry into World War II, "A Time To Be Born" is a scathing and hilarious study of cynical New Yorkers stalking each other for various selfish ends. At the center of the story are a wealthy, self-involved newspaper publisher and his scheming, novelist wife, Amanda Keeler. Powell always denied that Amanda Keeler was based upon the real-life Clare Boothe Luce, until years later when she discovered a memo she d written to herself in 1939 that said, Why not do a novel on Clare Luce? Which prompted Powell to write in her diary Who can I believe? Me or myself? "

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781883642419
ISBN-10: 1883642418
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 23mm)
Pages: 327
Imprint: Steerforth Press
Publisher: Steerforth Press
Publish Date: 7-Aug-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions


US Kirkus Review » Satire for sophisticates, as Dawn Powell invests her tart, smart malice in the portrait of a bitch, one Amanda Kealer Evans, who defies classification in any other category. Once again, it is very fine faline sport, with some softer spots which may well increase her reading audience. New York is the scene for Amanda's one-woman suzerainty over men and women, over best sellers (her's outwinded GWTW), over politics, over international affairs, over glamour. Lovely to look at, sharp, cold, she used her marriage to a wealthy newspaper chain owner as a means to national success. He ghosted her into celebrity. Once there, she maintained her prestige, by public works and private selfishness, until she made the mistake of using Vicky Haven as a cover-up for her return to Ken, an old lover. Vicky, ingenuous, and Ken, resenting Amanda's tentacles, find escape in misery-loves-company togetherness, and Amanda is foiled by her own foil. Entertaining reading. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Dawn Powell

When Dawn Powell died in 1965, virtually all her books were out of print. Not a single historical survey of American literature mentioned her, even in passing. And so she slept, seemingly destined to be forgotten or, to put it more exactly, never to be remembered. How things have changed! Numerous novels by Dawn Powell are currently available, along with her diaries and short stories. She has joined the Library of America, admitted to the illustrious company of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Adams, Frederick Douglass, and Edith Wharton. She is taught in college and read with delight on vacation. For the contemporary poet and novelist Lisa Zeidner, writing in"The New York Times Book Review," Powell is wittier than Dorothy Parker, dissects the rich better than F. Scott Fitzgerald, is more plaintive than Willa Cather in her evocation of the heartland, and has a more supple control of satirical voice than Evelyn Waugh. For his part, Gore Vidal offered a simple reason for Powell s sudden popularity in the early Twentieth Century: We are catching up to her. Dawn Powell was born in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, on November 28, 1896, the second of three daughters. Her father was a traveling salesman, and her mother died a few days after Dawn turned seven. After enduring great cruelty at the hands of her stepmother, Dawn ran away at the age of thirteen and eventually arrived at the home of her maternal aunt, who served hot meals to travelers emerging from the train station across the street. Dawn worked her way through college and made it to New York. There she married a young advertising executive and had one child, a boy who suffered from autism, then an unknown condition. Powell referred to herself as a permanent visitor in her adopted Manhattan and brought to her writing a perspective gained from her upbringing in Middle America. She knew many of the great writers of her time, and Diana Trilling famously said it was Dawn who really says the funny things for which Dorothy Parker gets credit. Ernest Hemingway called her his favorite living writer. She was one of America s great novelists, and yet when she died in 1965 she was buried in an unmarked grave in New York s Potter s Field."

Books By Author Dawn Powell

My Home is Far Away by Dawn Powell

My Home is Far Away

Paperback, June 2000
Dance Night by Dawn Powell

Dance Night

Paperback, March 2000
Locusts Have No King by Dawn Powell

The Locusts Have No King

Paperback, January 2000
Sunday, Monday and Always by Dawn Powell

Sunday, Monday and Always

Paperback, October 1999