December 21, 2013
Anjelica Huston at the Hotel Bel Air
Anjelica Huston after the reading, December 17, 2013, photo by Joy Bennett
Last Tuesday I was very happy to attend Anjelica Huston’s reading and discussion of her new book at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles, California. Her book, A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London and New York is an elegantly written memoir about her remarkable life, told with grace and honesty. The event was hosted by PEN Center USA as part of their Literary Salon Series. You would expect no less from this fascinating, unusual woman. Ms. Huston is an academy award-winning actress (she won an Oscar in 1985 for her role in Prizzi’s Honor), and has also directed some films. Her strength and will upholds her in a life that has been shot through with challenges, despite being born into Hollywood Royalty. Her Father was John Huston, a noted film director, her mother Enrica was a very artistic and gifted ballerina, and her grandfather was actor Walter Huston. This book will be followed by the publication next fall of her memoir of the second half of her life, called Watch Me that will detail her life in Hollywood and beyond. Reviews of the first book have been quite favorable.
You could tell by her manner at the reading that she brought a great deal of seriousness and discipline to the task of writing. A former dancer, I had the sense that she likely used that self-control to also master facing down the blank page each day.
Ms. Huston is a remarkably talented actress, director and now writer, and can hold her own in this most difficult and challenging of genres. I asked her during the question and answer session after the reading if she had any plans to publish any fictional stories or novels after the memoirs come out. She guardedly said, “Yes, depending on how it goes.” I sincerely hope she does. Ms. Huston has a very natural and engaging writer’s voice.
The reading was held in the beautiful and suitably posh Hotel Bel Air, which she is quite fond of, having been married there in the past. She married the famous sculptor Robert Graham at the hotel in 1992, who sadly died in 2008 at age 70.
All in all, a remarkable reading and discussion by an intriguing, multitalented and quite brave woman who has lived an utterly fascinating life.
This event was cohosted by Hotel Bel Air and PEN Center USA as part of their Literary Salon series. For more information on the hotel, visit dorchestercollection.com/en/los-angeles/hotel-bel-air, for more about PEN Center USA, see penusa.org.