Big Red

Jerome Charyn


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Oldcastle Books Ltd
1 December 2022
ISBN: 9780857305244
288 pages

From the publisher

Narrated by a starry-eyed reporter, Big Red reimagines the tragic career of Rita Hayworth and her indomitable husband, Orson Welles.
Set amidst the noir glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age, Big Red reenvisions the life of one of America's most enduring icons: Gilda herself, Rita Hayworth, whose fiery red hair and hypnotic dancing helped make her the quintessential movie star of the 1940s. With narrator Rusty Redburn - a feisty second-string gossip columnist from Kalamazoo tasked with spying on Hayworth by Columbia movie mogul Harry 'The Janitor' Cohn - as our guide, we follow the meteoric rise and heartrending demise of the actress, encountering her exploitative father, Eduardo; her controlling husband, 'boy genius' Orson Welles; and notorious journalist Louella Parsons, among many others. Mixing his trademark screwball comedy and unerring tragedy, Jerome Charyn, with his 'polymorphous imagination' (Jonathan Lethem) reanimates film classics such as Cover Girl, Gilda, and The Lady from Shanghai. An insightful, tender portrait of a seemingly halcyon age before blockbusters and film franchises, Big Red promises to consume both Hollywood cinephiles and neophytes alike.