Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller

Synopsis

"A biography of writer Arthur Miller that describes his era, his major works, his life, and the legacy of his writing"--Provided by publisher.

Excerpt

He moved to Brooklyn. That was the start. He didn't have any choice. He'd been born in Manhattan on October 17, 1915, and spent the first thirteen years of his life growing up in a middle-class section of Harlem. Both his parents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His father, Isidore, was a successful manufacturer of women's coats, and his mother, Augusta, taught school.

Miller didn't care much for school. In fact, he couldn't wait for classes to end each day so he could head to Central Park for pickup games of football and baseball. His favorite evenings were spent at the piano, and he wasn't the only one who could play. Sometimes the whole family—Miller has a sister Joan and a brother Kermit with whom he often competed for their father's attention—would gather around the piano to sing. He often refers to this time as [innocent.]

Then it happened. The economy started to weaken, people started wearing last winter's coats, and it wasn't long before the Millers could no longer afford to live in Manhattan. They moved to a house in Brooklyn. Big elm trees stood at attention on both sides of East Third Street, the houses all had gardens, and Miller could bike to Coney Island to fish off the jetties.

Miller's house, which he later used as his model for the one in Death of a Salesman, wasn't as elegant as his home in Harlem, but it was a lot more active. His mom's father lived with them, and there always seemed to be a lot of people coming and going. Two of these—his uncles . . .

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