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Myron Brinig

author Myron Brinig on horseback at Taos, New Mexico in 1933          short profile


works about Myron Brinig

friends & family


"Myron Brinig has abundant vitality and emotional power combined with
that invaluable knack for always being interesting."
New York Times review, January 1932

          Myron Brinig was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 22 December 1896; the family moved to the copper-mining town of Butte, Montana in 1897. He left Butte at age 17 to study at New York University, but was drafted into the Army in 1917, serving in Oregon and Washington State. He returned to New York City in 1919 and found a job at the Zanuck film studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Except for short and rare visits to his family, he never returned to Montana.

          In 1933 he visited Taos, New Mexico and met Mabel Dodge Luhan, the famous arts patron, who invited him to stay with her. Brinig spent the rest of that year and most of the next in one of Luhan's guest houses, living together as lovers with the modernist painter, Cady Wells, the scion of a wealthy Eastern family. In 1935, Brinig moved alone to San Francisco. His next novel was "The Sisters", a bestseller made into the box-office hit movie starring Errol Flynn & Bette Davis. The money from the movie allowed him to return to Taos and buy a house where he lived for the next 16 years.

          Publisher Stanley Rinehart split with John Farrar in 1946; Brinig's subsequent novels sold poorly, and Rinehart dropped Brinig from their list in 1953. In an attempt to save his career, Brinig sold his Taos home in 1955 and moved back to Manhattan. Only one further novel got published, yet the last third of Brinig's life was a happy time: he lived for 35 years with the man he loved, spent time with friends, and otherwise kept his homosexuality well hidden.

          Myron Brinig died on 13 May 1991 at the age of 94; of his 22 novels, only one is in print today.

Myron Brinig entry at Wikipedia
browse books by Myron Brinig at Amazon
meager credits at IMDb

The Novels of Myron Brinig

"Madonna Without Child" first novel [Doubleday, Doran & Co. 1929]
A character study of a woman obsessed by someone else's child.

"Singermann" [1929] by Myron Brinig
Jewish storekeeper Moses Silvermann raises five sons in the copper-mining town of Silver Bow, Montana.
Arno Press facsimile hardcover [12/75] out of print/used
Farrar & Rinehart hardcover [1929] out of print/used

"Anthony In The Nude" [Farrar & Rinehart 1930]

"Copper City" [Cobden-Sanderson, London 1931]

Wide Open Town Western novel by Myron Brinig  "Wide Open Town: A Novel" [Farrar & Rinehart 1931]
by Myron Brinig, Illustrated by Earl Ganz

A story of labor strife and love set in 1910 in fictional Silver Bow, representing Butte, Montana. A lover of fresh air works deep in the mines, his powerful uncle faces a crisis, and a girl from the 'dark side' of town in love with the miner tries to reform herself.
Sweetgrass / Farcountry Press 9x6 pb [6/93] for $12.95

"This Man Is My Brother" [1932] sequel to "Singermann"
Harry Singermann has consolidated the four family stores into a very successful department store in downtown Silver Bow; brother Michael visits from New York to gather material for a novel, and he notices that Harry seems enamored of his adopted nephew Richard; Harry drowns in Florida and the family gathers for the funeral. The dust jacket blurb on the original book describes the ending as "as beautiful and delicate a handling of a homosexual tragedy as has yet appeared".

"The Flutter of An Eyelid" [Farrar & Rinehart 1933] by Myron Brinig
A New England author moves to sunny Southern California and decides to base his next book on his neighbors,
which include an evangelist (based on Aimee Semple McPherson), a possible husband-poisoner,
and a young man named Jesus who walks on water.

Farrar & Rinehart hardcover [1933] out of print/used

"Out of Life" [Farrar & Rinehart 1934]
A character study of a man about to become a father.

"The Sun Sets In The West" [Farrar & Rinehart 1935]
A story of labor strife in the mines of Silver Bow, Montana.

The Sisters 1937 bestseller novel by Myron Brinig  
The Sisters feature film starring Errol Flynn & Bette Davis  
"The Sisters" [1937 bestseller] by Myron Brinig
The three daughters of a druggist in Silver Bow, Montana: Louise elopes with a hard-drinking sports writer to San Francisco; he leaves her the night before the 1906 earthquake, she recovers in a brothel, then marries again and lives a gracious life. Grace remains in Montana, catches Louise's beau on the rebound, and tames him. Boy-crazy Helen marries an old copper tycoon and escapes to join the aristocracy of the East, where she is still a problem child in her fifties.
Farrar & Rinehart 9x5 hardcover [1937] out of print/used
Grosset & Dunlap hardcover [1937] out of print/used
"The Sisters" feature film [Warner Bros. Oct 1938]
Each of three sisters from Silver Bow, Montana marry men that they meet at the local inauguration ball (1901); one sister elopes with a dashing rascal to San Francisco; the marriage breaks up, the city is destroyed by earthquake (1906), she recovers and returns to Montana; at the inauguration ball for Taft (1909), he reappears and asks for a second chance. Directed by Anatole Litvak; based on the bestselling novel by Myron Brinig; music by Max Steiner; starring Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise, Jane Bryan, Ian Hunter, Donald Crisp, Beulah Bondi, Alan Hale, Dick Foran & Henry Travers
DVD/Blu-ray not available; MGM/UA Home Video b&w VHS [9/98] out of prodn/used
full credits from IMDb movie entry at Wikipedia

"May Flavin" [Farrar & Rinehart 1938]
M.G.M. bought the movie rights in 1939 and cast Greer Garson in the title role; the film was never made. Deep-down a lady, Chicago orphan May fends for herself until marrying a handsome New York good-for-nothing, raises six kids – gangster, schoolteacher, waitress, fashion model – and when the two youngest become movie stars, May moves to Beverly Hills, charming everyone with her "Ain't life funny and grand?" simplicity.

Anne Minton's Life 1939 novel by Myron Brinig  
"Anne Minton's Life" [1939] by Myron Brinig
A young woamn steps out onto a hotel window ledge in Los Angeles and a crowd gathers; as time passes, various observers speculate on the woman and also reevaluate their own lives.
World Publng 8¼x5¾ hardcover [1944] out of print/used
Farrar & Rinehart hardcover [1939] out of print/used

"All of Their Lives" [Farrar & Rinehart 1941]
Farrar & Rinehart hardcover [1941] out of print/used

"The Family Way" [Farrar & Rinehart 1942]
Early satirization of New York suburbanites.

The Gambler Takes A Wife novel by Myron Brinig  
"The Gambler Takes A Wife" [Farrar & Rinehart 1943]
Set in Montana in the 1880s.
Farrar & Rinehart hardcover [1943] out of print/used

"You and I" [1945]
The story of Claire and Eric, from New Mexico childhood to marriage to travels across America and Europe.
Farrar & Rinehart 8x5½ hardcover [1945] out of print/used

"Hour of Nightfall" [Rinehart 1947]
Rinehart & Co. hardcover [1947] out of print/used

No Marriage In Paradise 1949 novel by Myron Brinig  
"No Marriage In Paradise" [Rinehart 1949]
"Mother ... daughter ... they both wanted him!"
Bantam mass pb [1950] out of print/used

"Footsteps On The Stair" [Rinehart 1950]
A look at the relationships between a turn-of-the-century Jewish family and a wealthy Irish family in
a mining town (Silver Bow/Butte, Montana), focusing on Jimmy Joyce, who takes off for San Francisco.

Rinehart & Co. hardcover [1950] out of print/used

"The Sadness In Lexington Avenue: A New York City Novel" [Rinehart 1951]
Rinehart & Co. hardcover [1951] out of print/used

"Street of The Three Friends" [Rinehart 1953]
Rinehart & Co. hardcover [1953] out of print/used

"The Looking Glass Heart" [Sagamore Press 1958]
1962 German title "Die Frauen der Greenshields" translated by Egon Strohm

Works About Myron Brinig

Taos Truth Game novel by Earl Ganz  "The Taos Truth Game: A Novel" [2006] by Earl Ganz
A fictional account of Myron Brinig's time in New Mexico, among literary figures Mabel Dodge Luhan, Frieda Lawrence, Robinson & Una Jeffers, and Frank Waters, with cameo appearances by Gertrude Stein & Henry Roth
Univ NM Press 9x6 pb [1/2007] for $12.95
Univ NM Press 9¼x5¾ hardcover [3/2006] for $18.96

Friends & Family

arts patron Mabel Dodge Luhan [1879-1962] of Taos, New Mexico

modernist painter Cady Wells [] - lived together 1933-34

L i n k s
Myron Brinig entry at Wikipedia
Myron Brinig 2007 bio article at Tablet Magazine
Myron Brinig article at GBLTQ Encyclopedia
Butte - Silver Bow [County] Chamber of Commerce

Online sales in association with  browse books by Myron Brinig {mostly out of print) at Amazon

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