At the Library: Stardom beckons at the Captiva Memorial Library
by MacDonald Harris
“Originally published in 1982, ‘Screenplay’ is a delirious, erotically charged, and wildly inventive novel that presents a writer of limitless imagination at the height of his powers. With hints of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ ‘Screenplay’ follows a wealthy young dilettante named Alys, who is as out of place in the Los Angeles of the 1980s as he is on the film sets of the 1920s. And yet that is exactly where he ends up, thanks to the intervention of a film director named Nesselrode, who seems to have traveled straight from the dawn of Hollywood into the present, and who, one day, leads Alys into the catacombs of an abandoned movie theater. The pair emerges in a black-and-white fantasia Los Angeles on the verge of becoming itself where silent films dominate the landscape. Alys soon finds his home in the pictures and falls in love with the seductive siren Moira Silver. But as he finds himself bewitched by old Hollywood, the present proves more and more distant, and Alys ends up lost in time, trapped between here and now. An extraordinarily imaginative tale of faded glamour and elusive love, ‘Screenplay’ is a rich and sensual novel by a master of the form.” *
“The Thunder of Giants”
by Joel Fishbane
“The year is 1937 and Andorra Kelsey – 7’11 and just under 320 pounds – is on her way to Hollywood to become a star. Hoping to escape both poverty and the ghost of her dead husband, she accepts an offer from the wily Rutherford Simone to star in a movie about the life of Anna Swan, the Nova Scotia giantess who toured the world in the 19th century. In parallel narrative, Anna Swan’s story unfurls. Where Andorra is seen as a disgrace by an embarrassed family, Anna Swan is quickly celebrated for her unique size. Drawn to New York, Anna becomes a famed attraction at P.T. Barnum’s American Museum even as she falls in love with Gavin Clarke, a veteran of the Civil War. Quickly disenchanted with a life of fame, Anna struggles to prove to Gavin – and the world – that she is more than the sum of her measurements. Both meticulously researched and resounding with the force of myth, ‘The Thunder of Giants’ blends fact and fiction in a sweeping narrative that spans nearly a hundred years. Against the backdrop of epic events, two extraordinary women become reluctant celebrities in the hopes of surviving a world too small to contain them. ” *
* Book jacket/publisher description
-Senior Librarian Ann Bradley is branch manager Captiva Memorial Library.