Intimate Lies

Intimate Lies

by Robert Westbrook

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Overview

Intimate Lies
Her Son's Story

F. Scott Fitzgerald, the brilliant author of The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, was a man haunted by failure to live up to his own early successes. In 1937, desperate for money, nearly broken in spirit, he headed west for work as a Hollywood screenwriter and one last shot at staying sober There, living in Hollywood's legendary hotel, The Garden of Allah, Fitzgerald met the beautiful young gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, whose elaborate pose as a British aristocrat masked the true identity that haunted her all her life. Before her death in 1988, Graham bequeathed a Pandoras box of papers, diaries, notes, and correspondence to her son, acclaimed novelist Robert Westbrook with explicit instructions to write the full story of her life with Fitzgerald, which she herself could not tell. The result is Intimate Lies--the dramatic tale of an unusual love affair the turbulent romance between a great author at the end of his life and a false young woman escaping her past, set against the glittering ferment of 1930s Hollywood.

"I was prepared to suffer any ordeal rather than reveal the truth about myself," Sheilah Graham wrote in 1958. Running from a childhood in the squalor of London's East End, desperate to hide her lack of education, Graham reinvented herself out of sheer imagination, spinning a web of daydreams and lies to those around her. But she was unable to conceal her true identity from Fitzgerald for long; he was fascinated by her mysterious past and quickly uncovered her secrets. Despite pressures of money and dwindling time, Fitzgerald set out to play Pygmalion, creating for Sheilah a fanciful "College of One." Later he made her the heroine of his final novel, The Last Tycoon. Sheilah, in turn, instinctively understood Fitzgerald's demons and cared for him with a survivor's strength as he alternated between wildly spectacular drunken episodes and quiet, doomed gallantry. Together they sought refuge in Hollywood, among such friends as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley John O'Hara, and Ogden Nash.

With Intimate Lies, Robert Westbrook brings a personal perspective and a sure writer's hand to this mesmerizing memoir, an unforgettable love story of unrelenting power and interest.

Praise for Intimate Lies

"The mood should be two people--free-- He has an overwhelming urge toward the girl who promises to give life back to him . . . she is the heart of hope and freshness."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald, notes for The Last Tycoon

"I was prepared to suffer any ordeal rather than reveal the truth about myself I thought, he has chosen me, I want him to be proud of the woman he has chosen. He must never feel that his girl is in reality a grubby little waif who has gotten to him by a series of deceptions."
--Sheilah Graham, writing in 1958

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161845912
Publisher: Speaking Volumes
Publication date: 08/09/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Robert Westbrook is the author of two critically-acclaimed mystery series, including Ancient Enemy, nominated for a Shamus Award as the Best P.I. Novel of 2002, and Intimate Lies, a memoir detailing the relationship between his mother, Hollywood columnist Sheilah Graham and the author F. Scott Fitzgerald, published by HarperCollins in 1995. His first novel, The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart, was made into an MGM movie. Robert lives with his wife, Gail, in northern New Mexico.

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