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The Sun and Her Stars by Donna Rifkind
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The Sun and Her Stars

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The Sun and Her Stars by Donna Rifkind
Paperback $18.99
Feb 02, 2021 | ISBN 9781635420920

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  • Feb 02, 2021 | ISBN 9781635420920

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“Rifkind sees the worldly yet unassuming Viertel as at once an extraordinary character and a telling representative of something larger than herself. She’s right to…A labor of love and careful research…startling and powerful…[Rifkind’s] generosity of spirit and attention to detail suit a book about this ‘mother of exiles,’ who was always welcoming outsiders in.” —New York Times Book Review
“Moving…brilliant…[Rifkind] performs an act of spiritual as well as cultural resurrection…Like the multitudes who came to 165 Mabery Road, you’ll be glad you met [Salka Viertel].” —Wall Street Journal

“Rifkind regularly takes issue with previous cultural historians who have denigrated Salka’s importance as a screenwriter…Rifkind writes engagingly and often passionately…[Salka’s] had been a remarkable life and she had been blessed with extraordinary friends, as Donna Rifkind again shows us.” —Washington Post

“Rifkind makes a passionate case for rescuing her subject from anonymity…[She] has done an enormous service in spotlighting the life of Salka Viertel: not only by telling a story that deserves to be better known, but also by implicitly making the case for more such books.” —Harper’s

“Among mid-twentieth-century America’s most influential women, Salka Viertel finally gets her due in Donna Rifkind’s marvelous, knowledgeable The Sun and Her Stars.” —Boston Herald

“An immersive biography…Chock-full of scandalous affairs and wartime atmosphere, this sparkling account brings overdue attention to a woman who helped make Hollywood’s golden age possible.” —Publishers Weekly

“Impressive…Rifkind chronicles in meticulous detail Salka’s substantial career in a hostile Hollywood studio system that regularly ignored the contributions of women…An impassioned and revelatory biography.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A study of a complex, openhearted woman who had a key role in saving the displaced while shaping mid-20th-century Hollywood. Rifkind has penned a perceptive, exhaustively researched contribution to social and film history.” —Library Journal

“[Rifkind is] a superlative chronicler of Old Hollywood…This tour de force of a biography tells the story of an overlooked hero who helped make Hollywood’s golden age gleam.” —Shelf Awareness

“In The Sun and Her Stars, Donna Rifkind delves into the fascinating, complex life and work of one of Hollywood’s unsung screenwriting legends and emerges with a rich and illuminating biography, one that Salka Viertel herself would have undoubtedly adored.” —Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, an Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece

“This book elegantly captures a splendid life and career worth remembering, its moving central portrait set like a brave feminist jewel amidst treacherous crosscurrents of history, in Europe and Hollywood, which echo eerily today.” —Patrick McGilligan, coauthor of Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist

“The best biographies tell the story not only of the individual but of the entire milieu in which they lived. Donna Rifkind does exactly this in her examination of Salka Viertel, a figure mostly unknown to the general public but whose life is a winding line from prewar Vienna to the coast of California at the dawn of Hollywood. This book is smart, questioning, insightful, and ultimately impossible to put down.” —Christian Kiefer, author of Phantoms: A Novel

“The unjustly forgotten Salka Viertel, premier memoirist of Hollywood’s Golden Age and so much more, gets a vital, comprehensive biography to call her own in Donna Rifkind’s lively and engaging The Sun and Her Stars.” —Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic

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