Richard Gray

The Private Life of an American Dreamer

Arthur Miller: A Life

By

Faber & Faber 484pp £25 order from our bookshop

In the autumn of 1962, an excited Arthur Miller telephoned his friend and professional colleague Robert Whitehead to announce, ‘I have a son.’ Miller and his third wife, Ingeborg Morath, were planning to call the boy Eugene, possibly after the playwright’s eminent predecessor Eugene O ‘Neill. The morning after this call , however, Miller phoned Whitehead again. ‘He isn’t right,’ Miller observed of the new baby, using the word ‘mongoloid’ to explain just what was not ‘right’ about him; ‘I’m going to have him put away.’ And so he did. The boy, named Daniel now, not Eugene, was enrolled in a ‘home for individuals with Mental Retardation’, not far from where his parents lived. It was there that Daniel was to spend the forty years of his life. His mother visited him every week, but it seems his father never did. Miller would never acknowledge his son Daniel in public. None of his official chronologies mention his birth; and, in Miller’s autobiography, Timebends (published in 1987), Daniel does not exist.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,