A GIFT OF JOY by Helen Hayes


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At the Washington, D.C. conference of the American Bookseller's Association, Helen Hayes was a guest speaker and she charmed everybody right out of their, bookstalls. People came away with the general feeling that her forthcoming book would unquestionably best sell. This is it and it's not really a theater memoir, it's a sort of autobiography cum-anthology. The word is that the book grew via the tape-recorder rather than the typewriter and it does have that conversational flow. Miss Hayes takes a subject like ""Walking"" and talks about it as a pastime during the run of a play, the plays she has been in and walks she has taken; it is a random scattering of family memories, moments and faces in the theater. Each chapter is followed by Miss Hayes' favorite excerpts from prose and poetry that bear on the subject under discussion. (Hers is a Catholic taste--Whitman can turn up cheek by jowl with Edward Guest..) The full effect of the book is that you've been in very pleasant company, the kind that tells you about herself and goes on to reveal herself through books and poetry. This was never the noisiest actress on the American stage, but a great one. This isn't the most intimate of theater recollections, but most friendly. The audience is established, assured and, our guess is, this will go into encore printings.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1965
Publisher: Evans