A memoir of two lost worlds

I blurbed the New York Review Books classics reprint of Salka Viertel’s memoir The Kindness of Strangers, which goes on sale today:

Thank goodness Greta Garbo encouraged her confidante Salka Viertel to write. With cameos by Kafka, Sarah Bernhardt, Eisenstein, Schoenberg, and Isherwood, Viertel’s memoir is humane, lightly ironic, and dizzyingly entertaining. It’s a portrait of two lost worlds—the pre-Hitler German-speaking stage and the pre-CGI Hollywood—as well as the story of a actress and screenwriter who all her life was bold in love and passionate for the arts.