On Salka Viertel’s “The Kindness of Strangers”

IN HER ENGAGING memoir of 20th-century literary life, The Kindness of Strangers, Salka Viertel, a leading Austrian actress, recounts her first American encounter. In 1928, she and her husband, writer-director Berthold Viertel, had been invited to dinner in Berlin by a visiting columnist, Dorothy Thompson, who happened to be the fiancée of Sinclair Lewis.

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