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The Untold Journey


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Table of Contents

Preface 1. Escape Into Fiction 2. Undertakings 3. Prolegomenon 4. Isolation and Desperation 5. The Rest of Our Lives 6. The Greatest Service 7. The Nation Calls 8. Not Merely a Critic's Wife 9. Glowing 10. Oh Be Brave 11. Guilt Makes Us Human 12. Weaving 13. Subversive Sex 14. A Limited Kind of Celebrity 15. At a Table 16. Just Close Your Eyes 17. Not Giving a Damn 18. Her Own Place 19. Re-creation and Imagination Epilogue: Arcadia Acknowledgments Source Notes Selected Bibliography Index

About the Author

Natalie Robins is the author of four books of poetry and five works of nonfiction, among them Copeland's Cure: Homeopathy and the War Between Conventional and Alternative Medicine (2005); The Girl Who Died Twice: The Libby Zion Case and the Hidden Hazards of Hospitals (1995); and Alien Ink: The FBI's War on Freedom of Expression (1992), which won the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award. She lives with her husband in New York City.


Natalie Robins has pulled off something of a coup. In an age when so-called objectivity has come under justified suspicion and attack, she has managed to write an exquisitely objective and fair account of one of the most contentious and arguably least objective intellectuals: the former Trotskyist and self-described liberal anticommunist, Diana Trilling. Robins documents Trilling's interactions not only with institutions like the CIA but also-in person and in print-with an array of intriguing personalities, among them Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer, Mary McCarthy, and the entire Jewish intellectual establishment, including Alfred Kazin, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Sidney Hook, Meyer Schapiro, and of course, Diana's husband, Lionel. In the end what we get, in addition to a full history of Diana, is the equivalent of a dual biography of 'Di and Li.' Read it, laugh, and learn. -- Victor S. Navasky, author of The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power and co-editor of The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views from the Industry Robins' absorbing life-study of Diana Trilling is rich in surprises. The book is a fine-grained portrait of the celebrated Trilling marriage, of Lionel's private weaknesses, and of his carefully concealed dependence on Diana's engagement in the making of his books. The story told includes Diana Trilling's campaign for her own place in the world of letters and deftly characterizes the political landscape of their time. The finished portrait is shocking but humane, and is drawn with wit and art. -- Norman Rush, author of Whites, Mating, Mortals and Subtle Bodies Diana Trilling-difficult, imperious, 'fierce and not elegant,' haughty, domineering, ambitious and witty; a 'family feminist'; wife, mother, essayist, and editor; anticommunist and anti-McCarthy: she was all of this, and so much more. Robins' incisive and illuminating biography offers us a vitally revealing perspective on more than a half-century of culture wars and the New York intellectuals who so delighted in fighting them. -- David Nasaw, author The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy and Andrew Carnegie The Untold Journey possesses a novelistic vividness and immediacy. Robins makes Diana Trilling, in all her complexity, come alive on the page. A thoroughly absorbing book about one of the most famous American intellectuals of the second half of the 20th century. -- Ross Posnock, Columbia University Plunging straight into Trilling's story, Robins never fails to entertain as she guides readers adeptly through the midcentury world of the New York Jewish intelligentsia. She even offers a twist ending for Lionel. Robins treats Trilling even-handedly... The book is a fine, important treatment of an undervalued thinker. Publishers Weekly Robins does a solid job of rehabilitating a significant literary and cultural figure of the 20th century, a woman who spent much of her career in her husband's shadow. Kirkus Reviews

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