Books: The Quality of Her Truth

THE GIFT HORSE by Hildegard Knef. Translated from the German by David Cameron Palastanga. 384 pages. McGraw-Hill. $7.95.

Huge kudu eyes, wide, hungry mouth, bullfrog-in-a-barrel baritone: Hildegard Knef came sauntering out of rubbled Berlin to become an international star —for the U.S. a sexy fraulein figure renamed Hildegarde Neff, for Germany a second and more controversial Dietrich. And here it is: the expectable show biz autobiography. But not the predictable boredom: The Gift Horse sold 300,000 copies in Germany. Like Puccini's Tosca, Hilde Knef has lived for art and love, but like Brecht's...

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