Dawn Powell

Never heard of Dawn Powell? Though Ernest Hemingway once dubbed her his ”favorite living novelist,” and Diana Trilling claimed she made ”the jokes that Dorothy Parker gets the credit for,” she’s virtually unknown today. Drawing heavily from Powell’s sparkling diaries, Washington Post music critic Tim Page’s Dawn Powell evokes a witty, unconventional woman who, after graduating from college in 1918, escaped small-town Ohio for Greenwich Village — where she enjoyed a 42-year marriage to an advertising executive (and countless affairs), developed a hard-partying lifestyle (even accompanying Dylan Thomas on his New York rounds), and wrote 15 novels, mostly searing satires about the Manhattan literary scene. If Page was trying to inspire interest in Powell’s work, his intriguing, gritty bio amply succeeds. B+

Dawn Powell
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