Just in time for the holidays, The New Criterion’s new literary line Criterion Books is publishing their initial offering, THE PARTY LINE, a two-act play by my wife Sheryl Longin and me.
Intermingling real and fictional characters, THE PARTY LINE takes place in Moscow and New York in the Twenties and Thirties and Amsterdam in the early years of this millennium.
Two of the prominent real characters in the play are Walter Duranty — the New York Times’ Moscow correspondent of that earlier era — and Pim Fortuyn — the Dutch politician assassinated in 2002 on the brink of becoming prime minister of that country.
The most important fictional character is Sid Brody, another foreign correspondent in Moscow during that earlier period. His character was based loosely on Eugene Lyons, the former UPI reporter who wrote several books on the Soviet Union in the 1930s.
Through the published version of THE PARTY LINE we hope to generate enthusiasm for the work that will encourage a major production. We are under no illusions. The cost of the production of a serious play on Broadway or the London’s West End is steep, especially one that takes seven actors (doing multiple roles) as this one does.
But if you read it, I think you will understand why Sheryl and I think it is worth the effort.