Shut Up He Explained As the daughter of Oscar-winning screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. -- and granddaughter of all-purpose man of letters Ring Sr. -- Kate Lardner probably would have… Shut Up He Explained As the daughter of Oscar-winning screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. -- and granddaughter of all-purpose man of letters Ring Sr. -- Kate Lardner probably would have… 2004-05-11 Nonfiction
Book Review

Shut Up He Explained (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: May 11, 2004; Writer: Kate Lardner; Genre: Nonfiction

As the daughter of Oscar-winning screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. -- and granddaughter of all-purpose man of letters Ring Sr. -- Kate Lardner probably would have had a good story even if her dad hadn't been one of the famed ''Hollywood Ten'' and jailed in 1950 during the notorious HUAC hearings. She recalls his incarcerated year (and the almost-as-difficult blacklist aftermath) with a nimble crosscutting of personal memories and reproduced letters. Her own recollections are sketchy, but the letters reveal the courageously cheerful way her parents coped, lingering over such matters as Christmas gifts or a new car. To read between the lines of her father's jaunty missives is to discover a refined, bittersweet sense of irony.

Originally posted May 21, 2004 Published in issue #766 May 21, 2004 Order article reprints
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