Dorothy McGuire remains one of the most beloved stars of Hollywood. An actress of sincerity, dignity and natural beauty, she graced film, radio, television and theater for nearly half a century, delivering unforgettable performances in such classic movies as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and the suspense thriller The Spiral Staircase. Yet no biography has been written about her—until now. Adamant is intended not as a definitive biography, but rather as an attempt, which investigates, reveals and examines, with microscopic tenacity, the many facets of McGuire’s personal and professional history, drawing on a wide range of sources, including personal reminiscences of friends, colleagues and family and the author’s own frequentation of the actress.
The reasons for the author’s self-deprecating definition of Adamant as an attempt hinge on the definition of exactly what one is attempting when one writes a biography. The loose strands of philosophical, literary and spiritual Leitmotifs that are woven through the book’s exploration and culminate in its unusual conclusion make it less a biography than a moral, or alchemical, study of Dorothy McGuire. This loving tribute takes the metaphysical route and makes observations not only about its immediate subject but also about the art of acting, personal evolution and virtues, and, most importantly, the act itself of writing a biography.