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For five years now Elmer Rice has lived a full, solitary life in the country, near Stamford, Connecticut--five ripe, vibrant years, filled with the tang of the seasons, with music, paintings, new plays under composition, and with the deep satisfactions of seeing his children happily enter productive adulthood. In his autobiography he reveals the successes and failures in his life, both artistic and personal. Rice has written innumerable stories and articles, four novels, fifty plays (seen thirty produced, many as failures, many ""successfully"" and a few as great hits), and won the Pulitzer drama prize (Street Scene). He describes his artistic shortcomings impassively. While some of his best work is still unproduced, he will probably be remembered as a technical innovator. During his career Rice helped sponsor various literary guilds and the American Civil Liberties Union, occasionally winding up in political imbroglios. Son of a poor Jewish family (his father was an epileptic), he studied for the bar, passed his exam at twenty. He became disaffected with the law, quit it, wrote a play which he sold within two days of finishing it. It made $100,000. For fifteen years he went along with hit and flop, tried Hollywood, finally admitted he was either an insufficient artist to produce the great plays he wanted to write or else was simply a gifted craftsman. For a while, he resigned from the theatre altogether, except for participation in The Playwrights Company which he founded with Sherwood, Anderson, Howard, Barry and Behrman. Twice divorced, Rice has long been a world-traveller, with a consuming interest in painting. In its dispassionate recital, Minority Report doesn't have quite the hook of Act I, but is engrossing if seldom moving.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1963
Publisher: Simon & Schuster