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Such Mad Fun


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About the Author

Robin Cutler has been a public historian for more than three decades. Between 1979 and 1984, she was co-producer of ROANOAK, an Emmy-nominated miniseries for PBS' American Playhouse that recreated the clash of cultures between Native Americans and Elizabethan explorers in what is now North Carolina. New York Times critic John O'Connor found it "admirably ambitious" and "quietly and consistently compelling." Her first book, A Soul on Trial: A Marine Corps Mystery at the Birth of the Twentieth Century (Rowman & Littlefield) was named a "notable Naval Book of 2007" and featured on the History News Network. (See Press tab for reviews.) Robin's latest book, The Laughing Desert (2012), the story of Arizona humorist Dick Wick Hall's nationally syndicated Salome Sun, includes a replica of the 1925-1926 illustrated paper and a Foreword by Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble. Part of an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project, it was featured in the Yuma Sun on November 9, 2012. She's been a Program Officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and a Contributing Editor for the American Historical Association's Perspectives. While president of Media Resource Associates, Inc.(1989-1999), she joined forces with several Native American tribes to document their histories and cultures. Robin has a PhD in history from Columbia University; she's a mentor at Hunter College, C.U.N.Y. and a scholarship scorer for The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. She divides her time between New York, Florida, and her daughters' homes in California. Her favorite things include animals, trees, lavender, raindrops on roses, water pistols, salted caramel, and classic films. For press reviews and more see



. . . In this well-researched account . . . the author thoughtfully examines the allure and trap of glamour. In this, Hall's story mirrors those of many female professionals even today, who face immense pressures to maintain a certain look. Hall's brushes with Hollywood and literary celebrities make great reading. Fitzgerald gave her an inscribed copy of Tender Is the Night ("the book may have been his warning to Jane about . . . the seductive power of wealth, alcohol, and a world of superficiality and showiness"). This portrait of a more literary mass-market America offers much food for reflection on modern culture. A valuable, absorbing contribution to the history of women, golden-age Hollywood, and America's magazine culture of the 1930s and '40s. Kirkus NAMED TO KIRKUS REVIEWS' BEST BOOKS OF 2016

. . . . an always fascinating tribute to a complex woman torn between home and career. Diary entries provide a window into the mixed emotions of a gallant woman trying to live an independent life, but shaped by the expectations of her class and time. Also revealing are the synopses of Jane's short stories and screenplays, which illuminate the kinds of stories women were writing and reading - and watching - in that era of glossy surfaces and incipient rebellion. MOLLY HASKELL, critic and author of From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies and the best-selling memoir My Brother My Sister.

Such Mad Fun is . . . a seamless story of twentieth- century life narrated with style and verve and empathy. SCOTT EYMAN, author of the New York Times bestseller John Wayne: The Life and Legend and twelve other books.

Such Mad Fun adds much to our understanding of Depression-era American culture in this biography of Jane Hall. . . . It provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the studio system during its heyday and it reminds us of the many challenges women of talent faced as they pursued their ambitions. Cutler. . . ably brings to life the milieus, both social and professional, Jane Hall inhabited during a fascinating life. RICHARD A. FINE, Professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University, and author of West of Eden: Hollywood and the Profession of Authorship.

If you want to understand the power of a woman's professional identity - and the effects of giving it up too soon - read this compelling history of ambition and success in Hollywood and New York. I hope "Such Mad Fun" inspires readers, especially women, to pursue their talents no matter what. Thoroughly researched, this is a beautifully written history of Hollywood's Golden Age, and the role of the woman wunderkind writer who was the author's mother. In the end, you'll understand better your twentieth-century matriarchs, and most likely yourself. All my "womankin" are getting copies of Such Mad Fun. I hope this page-turner teaches them to never surrender their talents and brainpower BETTY BOOKER, specialist in generational writing, long-time reporter/columnist, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch and Boomer Magazine

Robin Cutler is pitch-perfect in her description of the glittering social worlds of 1930's New York and Hollywood . . . Working from her mother's writings and diaries, Cutler crafts an absorbing coming-of-age story that shows what it took for a brilliant young woman to make it as a Hollywood screenwriter. . . . Written with the momentum of a page-turning novel, Such Mad Fun is a must read . . . LINDSAY C. GIBSON, Psy.D, author of Who You Were Meant To Be: A Guide to Finding or Recovering Your Life's Purpose.


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