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Miss May does not exist : the life and work of Elaine May, Hollywood's hidden genius / Carrie Courogen.

Courogen, Carrie, (author.).

"Miss May Does Not Exist, by Carrie Courogen is the riveting biography of comedian, director, actor and writer Elaine May, one of America's greatest comic geniuses. May began her career as one-half of the legendary comedy team known as Nichols and May, the duo that revolutionized the comedy sketch. After performing their Broadway smash An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Elaine set out on her own. She toiled unsuccessfully on Broadway for a while, but then headed to Hollywood where she became the director of A New Leaf, The Heartbreak Kid, Mikey and Nicky, and the legendary Ishtar. She was hired as a script doctor on countless films like Heaven Can Wait, Reds, Tootsie, and The Birdcage. In 2019, she returned to Broadway where she won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in The Waverly Gallery. Besides her considerable talent, May is well known for her reclusiveness. On one of the albums she made with Mike Nichols, her bio is this: "Miss May does not exist." Until now. Carrie Courogen has uncovered the Elaine May who does exist. Conducting countless interviews, she has filled in the blanks May has forcibly kept blank for years, creating a fascinating portrait of the way women were mistreated and held back in Hollywood. Miss May Does Not Exist is a remarkable love story about a prickly genius who was never easy to work with, not always easy to love and frequently often punished for those things, despite revolutionizing the way we think about comedy, acting, and what a film or play can be"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781250279224
  • Physical Description: x, 386 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2024.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 332-376) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prologue : a few thoughts from a bench across the street from Elaine May's apartment -- I will tell you anything, but I warn you now, it's a lie -- When in doubt, seduce (1952-1957) -- Nichols and May take Manhattan (1957-1961) -- What the hell happened to Elaine May? (1961-1967) -- You make the crew nervous : Adaptation/Next and A new leaf (1968-1971) -- Laugh and laugh and laugh and shudder later : The heartbreak kid (1972) -- Two stolen reels and a clown car : Mikey and Nicky (1976) -- Nothing was a straight line : Heaven can wait, Reds, and Tootsie (1976-1985) -- Dangerous business : Ishtar (1987) -- There's no prize, just a smaller size (1988-1996) -- Don't call it a comeback : the Birdcage (1996) and Primary colors (1998) -- We adapt very quickly (1998-2014) -- What is important in life and art? (2015-2023).
Subject: May, Elaine, 1932-
Women screenwriters > United States > Biography.
Women motion picture producers and directors > United States > Biography.
Women comedians > United States > Biography.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Adams County Library System.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Gettysburg Library BIOG MAY-E (Text)
Endowment: Nancy G. Richardson Named Endowment, 2024
35740636067415 New Nonfiction Available -

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