Books: Half-Told Tales

PENTIMENTO: A BOOK OF PORTRAITS by LILLIAN HELLMAN 297 pages. Little, Brown. $7.95.

Lillian Hellman has had the kind of life that Zelda Fitzgerald and many another lost lady wanted and thought she deserved. Hellman drank with the big boys, but held her liquor and her health. Her 30-year love affair with Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon) was the kind of tough-tender romance that Hemingway daydreamed about in his novels. Most important, she had a successful career as a playwright: twelve Broadway plays, eight of them hits, and one, The Little Foxes, a...

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