Huxley in Hollywood

The author and the pacifist dream…

In the summer of 1937, the author of Brave New World travelled to America to lecture in pacifism. Leading literary figure in an atmosphere of post-World War One cynicism, Aldous Huxley had adopted a position that was to become increasingly unpopular, even in sybaritic California. But by that time he was an ensconced exile in paradise. A well-paid script writer under Hollywood contract, he also wrote novels amidst a circle of distinguished exiles such as Charlie Chaplin and Thomas Mann, old friends Christopher Isherwood and Bertrand Russell, and charming natives like Anita Loos.

Dunaway conducts an unforgettably engaging tour through the twists of Huxley’s fate in the US — from celebrity to despair and isolation, through agonies of conscience and the quest for inner vision. The portrait that emerges is a considerable contribution to literary biography, a view of one of the most forward-looking, original and lucid minds of his generation at work in the Hollywood he once called an ‘adult toy palace’.

Praise for David K. Dunaway

‘A fascinating portrait of Huxley that does much to dispel the often dismissive myths surrounding his later years.’
— Stephen Amidon, Financial Times

‘Dunaway offers some diverting insights into the sexual and social shenanigans of the famous which place his hero firmly in context’
— William Russell, Glasgow Herald

‘Dunaway’s sympathetic account … is especially good … on Huxley’s pacifism.’
— Clancy Sigal, Guardian

‘The mysticism is taken seriously and valued, as it was by Huxley himself, for its effect upon the life … Dunaway includes a fine retelling of Huxley’s first mescaline trip.’
— Zachary Leader, Observer

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