A memoir approximately showbiz within the early twentieth century that travels from the theaters of Vienna, Prague, and Berlin, to Hollywood all through the golden age, whole with encounters with Franz Kafka, Albert Einstein, and Greta Garbo alongside the best way.

Salka Viertel’s autobiography tells of an excellent, inventive, and neatly-attached lady’s pilgrimage in the course of the darkest years of the 20 th century, a adventure that might take her from a far flung province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Hollywood. The Kindness of Strangers is, to cite the New Yorker writer S. N. Behrman, “an excessively wealthy ebook. It supplies a landscape of the dissolving civilizations of the 20 th century. In they all the writer lived on the apex in their tradition and creative aristocracies. Her adolescence . . . is an entrancing idyll. In Berlin, in Prague, in Vienna, there seems Karl Kraus, Kafka, Rilke, Robert Musil, Schoenberg, Einstein, Alban Berg. There’s the struggling and disruption of the First International Warfare and the struggling and affliction after it, that is defined with such intimacy and vividness that you just undergo those bad years with the writer. Then comes the migration to Hollywood, the place Salka’s space on Mabery Highway turns into one of those Pantheon for the collected artists, musicians, and writers. It sort of feels to me that no person has ever defined Hollywood and the lifetime of writers there with such verve.”