This exciting novel about Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man) and Lillian Hellman (The Children's Hour) reintroduces their larger-than-life personalities and the vicissitudes of their affair that spanned three decades.
Toperoff reimagines the highs and lows of a fast-living, hard-drinking literary couple, and their individual passions, projects, and literary creations. Hammett and Hellman's relationship evolves during major artistic and political epochs - Hollywood's heyday, the New York literary scene, the Spanish Civil War, McCarthyism, and both world wars - and each movement is captured with subjectivity and credible insight. Populated with writers, drinkers, filmmakers, and revolutionaries, Lillian and Dash chronicles the unusual affair of two prominent and headstrong figures.
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"Toperoff locates the private passions in an intense, public and ultimately tragic love story without indulging in glitz or melodrama. " - Kirkus
"Much has been written about these two writers, playwrights, political activists, drunks and lovers, but nothing better than this novel. Toperoff does not pretend to be an earwitness to every private conversation, bit of pillow talk or fight; instead, he weaves a great story out of the public evidence that swirled around both parties." - Shelf Awareness
"Fascinating and engrossing, one of those rare books that would help you through an airplane flight without insulting your intelligence. In a word, it's literature. It also happens to be dark and sexy and, I would think, ripe for the movies." Tracy Kidder, author of Mountains beyond Mountains and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for nonfiction
"There is a sentence in Lillian & Dash that, in part, reads, 'Cruelty was in fact precisely what made the erotic obscene.' There is a lot packed in those ten words. What's more, they explain exactly why anything Sam Toperoff writes, I will read." - Cal Fussman, writer at large, Esquire
"This is a novel that reimagines their relationship...with a strong dose of Golden Age romanticism." - LA Times
"I never knew how love like this worked, the kind that jumps the tracks but just keeps barreling onward...'til Sam Toperoff yanked me aboard, sat me next to Dash and Lill and took us hurtling through Hollywood, down Broadway, across two wars, a political witch hunt and mid-20th-century America, spellbound and hell-bound for human truth." - Gary Smith, writer, Sports Illustrated
"[A] wonderful tale, graphic and true as it imagines the reality surrounding Hellman's and Hammett's extraordinary lives. You'll love it and learn from it." - Paul Newlin, author of It Had to Be a Woman and Reaching for September
"Toperoff delivers the historical period with not only credibility, but insight as well. And of course it's a book about writers and writing, and thus the relationships between ego and talent, success and the lure of self-destruction." - Stephen Dunn, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry
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Sam Toperoff has published twelve books of fiction and nonfiction including Jimmy Dean Prepares and Queen of Desire, and his stories and articles have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Granta, New York Times Magazine, Town & Country, and Sports Illustrated. He lives in France, in a house he built.
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