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Imaginary Friends

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Although Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy probably only met once in their lives, their names will be linked forever in the history of American literary feuds: they were legendary enemies, especially after McCarthy famously announced to the world that every word Hellman wrote was a lie, “including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” The public battle, and the legal squabbling, that ensued e ...more
ebook, 154 pages
Published November 25th 2009 by Vintage (first published March 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Danella Shea
A play by Nora Ephron about the feud between Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman. This is the first time I've read a play since college, when I would sit in my theater classes doing table reads. This was read alone, with me playing each part in my mind as best I could. I much prefer table reads for plays or actually viewing the finished product, but I still enjoyed Imaginary Friends. Ephron took an interesting approach to the feud between these two brilliant, yet silly women.

"Could we have ever b
Oct 13, 2009 Cat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so tickled that one of my favorite contemporary wits wrote a play about one of the witty women I am writing about in my own book, Mary McCarthy. A lot of the banter here between Lillian and Mary is sharp and fun as Ephron imagines exchanges between two women who distinguished themselves as the exceptional women in circles of politically committed men in the 1930s and who became bitter enemies. Ephron thinks about how exceptionalism contributes to enmity (can't be the only woman at the prof ...more
Tracy Collier
Jul 30, 2012 Tracy Collier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a play in quite a while, Shakespeare maybe...? Regardless, I am glad that I didn't know this was a play when I picked it up.

Unlike many plays, this included blocking, timing, and lyrics. It was about two women I had never heard of but were apparently very famous in literary circles. Read it, you will like it!
May 30, 2012 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the idea behind this play and the way it's written... but I could not figure out if it was a comedy or a drama which made it difficult to read. Was I supposed to be laughing or crying? I didn't know.
Annie Garvey
Because this is a play, it should be seen and not read. They're is also a musical component that doesn't translate onto the written page. I wish I had seen the original cast members: Swoosie Kurtz (Hellman) and Cherry Jones (McCarthy). I better their performances were great.
Carol Ann
Funny and quirky. Nice little play. The timeline at the end of the play is wonderful. I may have to read something by Daschiel Hammett.
Jul 09, 2008 Alexa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this made me realize I need to read more plays. Fascinating look into a complicated relationship.
Sep 25, 2016 Meire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fascinating indeed!
Mar 28, 2016 Hilda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman only met a handful of times, if that, but they were embroiled in a years-long public feud. Ephron has taken this fact and fleshed it out into an imaginary meeting between the two - after their deaths - where they talk about their animosity towards each other, their lives, common friends, politics, etc.

Written in Ephron's acerbic and quick wit, the play is an easy, fun read. I recommend it to Ephron fans, those interested in women authors, and whoever wants to e
May 26, 2016 Sabrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nora wrote, in "I Remember Nothing", that this play was the best thing she ever wrote.

I agree that it's really very good writing, but I also think "Mixed Nuts" and "Michael" are high art, and as a teenager I memorized "When Harry Met Sally" like it was a catechism, so.

Mar 02, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ephron dips her toe into Tom Stoppard territory as she explores the contentious relationship between two now-somewhat-forgotten literary lionesses. There is lots of clever fun here, but I do feel the audience for this would be somewhat limited.
Lix Hewett
This was good, I thought. I don't have much to say about it — I didn't even know the people the play is about existed before I read about them in a different Nora Ephron book. I like the play, though, it's got a good approach and a good head on its shoulders. I just didn't feel much about it.
Deb W
Oct 11, 2013 Deb W rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two act play performing the two dead (obscure) author's looking back on their seemingly parallel lives, and examining events that may (or may not) have contributed to their mutual contempt. It was hardly worth the effort of reading, let alone reviewing it. Ho hum.
Jul 18, 2007 Kristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Actors
I frippin' love this play. LOVE IT! Pitching it Saturday too...
Priscilla Nemeth
Great fun and staging is so creative-- it would be wonderful to see.
Bridget Morse
Just couldn't get into it
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Nora Ephron was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and blogger.

She was best known for her romantic comedies and is a triple nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay; for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle. She sometimes wrote with her sister, Delia Ephron.
More about Nora Ephron...

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