In 1965, the young illustrator Edward Sorel discovered a treasure in his railroad flat on Manhattan's Upper East Side: issues of the New York Daily News and Daily Mirror from 1936 ablaze with a trial taking place in Hollywood. Mary Astor was eugh of a star to make headlines when it came out that George S. Kaufman, then the most successful playwright on Broadway and a married man, had been her lover. The scandal revolved around Mary's diary which her ex-husband had found. Its contents forced her to give up custody of their daughter in order to obtain a divorce. Mary, he claimed, had t only kept a tally of all her extramarital affairs but graded them-and he had alerted the press. Mary Astor's Purple Diary narrates and illustrates the travails of the Oscar-winning actress alongside Sorel's own story of discovering an unlikely muse.
Edward Sorel is an illustrator, caricaturist, and cartoonist, whose satires and pictorial essays have appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker, for which he has done forty-six covers. He is the recipient of the George Polk Award for Satiric Drawing and the Karikaturpreis der deutchen Anwaltschaft from the Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover, Germany. He lives in Harlem.