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The Facts in Back of Lily Torrence (2): Barbara Stanwyck

Biographer Axel Madsen says “unearthing the truth about [Stanwyck’s] sexuality would remain impossible,” but also notes “people would swear she was…Hollywood’s biggest closeted lesbian.” And most Hollywood historians admit there’s something to rumors that Stanwyck’s marriages to Frank Fay and Robert Taylor were studio-backed “lavender marriages” created to keep the closet sealed tight. www.out.com/entertainment/today-gay-history/2013/07/16/today-gay-history-inimitable-barbara-stanwyck

Gay in Hollywood

Homosexual characters figure prominently in Lily Torrence. Lily’s mentor, the glamorous and powerful Deborah Boynton, is a lesbian. Her ex-husband, Ted Hardy is gay. Was this an intentional lavender marriage, or just a willing blindness to reality on the part of two young and ambitious people? Ted was the bigger star when they were married, […]

Was Lisa Pilsbury . . . funny?

There was a tap on the door, and Deborah stuck her head in. “Hi.” “ Hi,” Lily said, locking her plans away into a hidden place in her mind. Deborah smiled. “How are you?” “Oh, fine, fine. Just doing some thinking.” “They’re playing cards in the dining room.” “Oh,” said Lily. “I’m not much for […]

Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder

In Lily Torrence, a hotshot young writer directer, Max Beckerman, and a talented older mystery writer, Lyman Wilbur, team up to write a screenplay for a hardboiled murder story called Double Down. And they respect each other’s abilities, but hate each other. This is the engine that drives Lily. And it is closely based on fact. In 1943 Paramount Pictures […]


Jaxon Square by Fred Andersen

You talk about thrills.  Name one that could beat walking out of jail and seeing your girl there.  Mary.  Tall, slim and twenty-two.  The prettiest smile.  But the smile wasn’t fully lit.  Something had gone sour. Naturally the first thing you suspect is that she hadn’t spent the last three weeks alone.  But I quickly […]


My Antonia by willa cather

When Pavel and Peter were young men, living at home in Russia, they were asked to be groomsmen for a friend who was to marry the belle of another village. It was in the dead of winter and the groom’s party went over to the wedding in sledges. Peter and Pavel drove in the groom’s […]



Mallory I got out of the water and went to the cabana, which was really a sultan’s tent, white and tangerine. It went well with my pullover. I sat down to dry my legs. He followed me. “ I wasn’t kidding about the watch. I really want you to have it.” “Steady, playboy. Stay in […]



He stopped in the doorway of the KP room and looked back at the messhall. He remembered the picture the rest of his life. It had become very quiet and everybody had stopped eating and looked up at each other. “Must be doin some dynamitin down to Wheeler Field,” somebody said tentatively. This seemed to […]