By Anita Reynolds, Visit Amazon's Howard M. Miller Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Howard M. Miller, , George Hutchinson, Patricia Williams, Jean L. Krauklin

This is the rollicking, never-before-published memoir of a desirable girl with an uncanny knack for being within the correct position within the finest instances. Of racially combined background, Anita Reynolds used to be proudly African American yet usually handed for Indian, Mexican, or Creole. Actress, dancer, version, literary critic, psychologist, yet particularly free-spirited provocateur, she was once, as her Parisian buddies nicknamed her, an "American cocktail."

one of many first black stars of the silent period, she seemed in Hollywood video clips with Rudolph Valentino, attended Charlie Chaplin's anarchist conferences, and studied dance with Ruth St. Denis. She moved to long island within the Nineteen Twenties and made a dash with either Harlem Renaissance elites and Greenwich Village bohemians. An émigré in Paris, she fell in with the Left financial institution avant garde, befriending Antonin Artaud, guy Ray, and Pablo Picasso. subsequent, she took up place of dwelling as a journalist in Barcelona in the course of the Spanish Civil conflict and witnessed firsthand the turning out to be risk of fascism. In 1940, because the Nazi panzers closed in on Paris, Reynolds spent the ultimate days sooner than the French capitulation as a purple go nurse, in a while creating a mad sprint for Lisbon to flee at the final send departing Europe.

In prose that completely captures the globetrotting nonchalance of its writer, American Cocktail provides a stimulating, unforgettable self-portrait of a very striking woman.

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Her acquaintances included a heroine of sexual liberation she had long admired who, in person, seemed not to live up to the hype. “I found it hard to believe that Miss [Edna St. Vincent] Millay was someone who ‘burned her candle at both ends’; she seemed to be such a nicely brought-up young woman, I imagined she went to bed at eight o’clock with a volume of Tennyson. ” Readers will notice a remarkable independence of spirit in Reynolds’s life from early on, a spirit that is unmistakable in the style of the memoir itself, its uniquely brash yet self-deprecating voice.

She appears throughout the fi lm as a waiting maid for the princess who stars opposite Fairbanks’s thief (and of course marries him in the end). ” As Anita grows into adulthood and settles in New York, then Paris, we see things from the perspective of a bright young woman 28 Introduction making her way, often somewhat recklessly, by wit, grace, and sex appeal. In New York, at fi rst among the haute bourgeoisie, she is surprised by the conservatism: “There was nothing simple about what respectable colored people thought were their moral standards.

Consider her take on the famous poet and playwright Antonin Artaud, who nearly married her friend Cecile Schramm: Cecile . . had become fascinated in Paris by a poet, a wild man named Antonin Artaud. . He was on drugs most of the time, with the “help” of some friends who believed he couldn’t live without them. Yet despite this, he always seemed to have the money he needed. He produced a play called Les Cencis, in which Lady Abby played beautifully the part of the daughter of a sadistic Renaissance Italian father who tied her to a large wheel.

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