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Elaine Stritch: The End of Pretend

Elaine Stritch: The End of Pretend is a book about an extraordinary life. It chronicles the twilight of actress Elaine Stritch's career, offering a rare first-person and no-holds-barred glimpse into the private persona of a Broadway legend.

Told primarily in Stritch's own words, The End of Pretend provides an unvarnished portrait of this brutal and most honest truth teller. Her personality commands the page with full force. Both hysterical and mesmerizing, John Bell renders Stritch in a fashion that is true to life, punctuating his narrative with her infamous humor, her infamous foul mouth, and her infamous foulmouthed humor.

Most fascinating is Bell's ability to get Stritch to talk, with harrowing honesty, about her journey through increasing states of vulnerability: facing the end of her career, leaving New York, and navigating the gauntlet of physical ailments that led to the end of her life. Ultimately, The End of Pretend is a treatise on mortality. Readers will be surprised at Stritch's life-affirming messages and her ability to "make friends with the end of pretend and leave the building with a little dignity."

--John Bell

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