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A Ship Without A Sail

A Ship Without A Sail

The Life of Lorenz Hart

“Blue Moon,” “Where or When,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Isn’t It Romantic?,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”—these are just some of the unforgettable songs that lyricist Lorenz “Larry” Hart wrote together with composer Richard Rodgers. A Ship Without a Sail is the story of the exuberant yet troubled Hart, who wrote so knowingly about the love that eluded him in his own short life.

Despite their highly successful collaborations for Broadway and Hollywood, Rodgers and Hart were an odd couple. Rodgers was precise, handsome, heterosexual, and eager to be accepted by Society. Hart was barely five feet tall, alcoholic, homosexual, most at home in a bar or restaurant, and prone to unexplained disappearances. His lyrics spin with wit, brilliance, and sophistication, yet at their core is an unmistakable wistfulness and yearning; they are all the more remarkable considering that he never sustained a romantic relationship, living virtually his entire life with his mother until his death at age forty-eight.

Gary Marmorstein’s revelatory biography brings Hart and his colorful world vividly to life, and includes many of the lyrics that define Hart’s indelible legacy.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 544 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416594260 | 
  • July 2013
List Price $17.00
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Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE

I’m a Sentimental Sap, That’s All


ON THE morning of November 29, 1943, one week after the death of Lorenz Hart at age forty-eight, several people gathered at the Guaranty Trust Company, on the southwest corner of Forty-Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue, to open the decedent’s safe-deposit box. Hart was considered by many to be the greatest of all American lyricists. Hart’s attorney Abraham M. Wattenberg arrived with his young associate Leonard Klein, bearing an order, duly made by Surrogate James A. Foley, to open the box with the express purpose of removing Hart’s will. A representative... see more

About the Author

Gary Marmorstein

Gary Marmorstein has written about film, theater, and popular music for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Stagebill, among other publications, and is the author of two previous books. He lives in New Jersey.

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