Dominick Dunne

Franklin Library Dominick Dunne books

An Inconvenient Woman - signed first edition - 1990
A Season in Purgatory - signed first edition - 1993
Another City, Not My Own - signed first edition - 1997


Writer Dominick Dunne

Dominick Dunne, born on October 29, 1925, in Hartford, Connecticut, was an American writer, investigative journalist, and television personality. He gained fame for his insightful coverage of high-profile legal cases, particularly those involving celebrities and the wealthy elite. Dunne's life was marked by a blend of literary success, personal tragedy, and a relentless pursuit of justice. Dunne's early years were shaped by a privileged upbringing, as he was born into a wealthy Irish Catholic family. His father, Richard Dunne, was a renowned heart surgeon, and his brother, John Gregory Dunne, became a successful writer as well. Dominick Dunne served in the United States Army during World War II, an experience that would later influence his perspectives on life and justice.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Dunne embarked on a career in Hollywood, initially working as a producer and later as a talent scout. Despite some success, he struggled with alcoholism and faced setbacks in his professional life. It wasn't until the 1980s that Dunne found his true calling as a writer and journalist. Dunne's writing career took off when he began covering high-profile trials for Vanity Fair magazine. His unique ability to blend his insider knowledge of Hollywood with a keen understanding of legal proceedings made his articles captivating for readers. He became a fixture in the world of celebrity journalism, providing in-depth coverage of sensational trials, including those of O.J. Simpson, Claus von B├╝low, and the Menendez brothers.

Dunne's debut novel, The Winners (1982), provided a glimpse into the cutthroat world of Hollywood, echoing his own experiences as a producer and talent scout. The novel marked the beginning of his literary exploration of societal dynamics and the pursuit of success. In The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1985), Dunne masterfully blended fact and fiction, crafting a novel inspired by a true crime story. The book delved into a scandalous murder within the upper echelons of society, exploring themes of wealth, power, and the consequences of societal expectations. Fatal Charms (1987) showcased Dunne's prowess in true crime storytelling, compiling his Vanity Fair articles that dissected high-profile cases involving celebrities and affluent individuals. The book underscored his ability to unravel the intricacies of the justice system and captivate readers with the drama of real-life legal battles. People Like Us (1988) continued Dunne's exploration of high society, this time set against the backdrop of Manhattan's elite. The novel delved into the intricacies of power, betrayal, and social climbing, offering a fictional narrative that mirrored the author's keen observations of privileged lives. In An Inconvenient Woman (1990), Dunne once again drew inspiration from real-life scandals, crafting a tale that exposed the secrets and betrayals within Los Angeles' upper crust. The novel navigated the complexities of personal relationships against the backdrop of wealth and influence. A Season in Purgatory (1993) delved into the dynamics of privilege and scandal, drawing parallels to the real-life Skakel family. The novel explored the consequences of power and the moral dilemmas faced by those entrenched in the world of affluence.

Dunne's non-fiction work, Another City, Not My Own (1997), offered readers an insider's perspective on the O.J. Simpson trial. As a participant-observer, he recounted the courtroom drama and the personalities involved, providing a unique lens into one of the most publicized trials in American history. The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper (1999) served as Dunne's memoir, offering personal reflections on his life, career, and the glittering circles he inhabited. The book provided an intimate account of his experiences in Hollywood and the literary world.

Tragedy struck Dunne's life in 1982 when his daughter, Dominique, was murdered. This heartbreaking event fueled his passion for justice, transforming him into a staunch advocate for victims' rights. His book, Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishments, published in 2001, compiled his articles and reflections on high-profile cases. Apart from his writing, Dunne became a familiar face on television, appearing as a commentator on various talk shows and news programs. His charisma and storytelling abilities endeared him to audiences, further solidifying his status as a prominent figure in both literary and media circles. Dominick Dunne passed away on August 26, 2009, at the age of 83, due to bladder cancer. Despite the personal and professional challenges he faced, his legacy endures through his impactful writings and dedication to shedding light on the complexities of justice in the lives of the rich and famous.


An Inconvenient Woman

Jules Mendelson is wealthy. Astronomically so. He and his wife lead the kind of charity giving, art filled, high-society life for which each has been carefully groomed. Until Jules falls in love with Flo March, a beautiful actress/waitress. What Flo discovers about the superrich is not a pretty sight. And in the end, she wants no more than what she was promised. But when Flo begins to share the true story of her life among the Mendelsons, not everyone is in a listening mood. And some cold shoulders have very sharp edges...

A Season in Purgatory

They were the family with everything. Money. Influence. Glamour. Power. The power to halt a police investigation in its tracks. The power to spin a story, concoct a lie, and believe it was the truth. The power to murder without guilt, without shame, and without ever paying the price. America's royalty, they called the Bradleys. But an outsider refuses to play his part. And now, the day of reckoning has arrived. . . .

Another City, Not My Own

This is the story of the Trial of the Century as only Dominick Dunne can write it. Told from the point of view of one of Dunne's most familiar fictional characters Gus Bailey Another City, Not My Own tells how Gus, the movers and shakers of Los Angeles, and the city itself are drawn into the vortex of the O.J. Simpson trial.
We have met Gus Bailey in previous novels by Dominick Dunne. He is a writer and journalist, father of a murdered child, and chronicler of justice-served or denied-as it relates to the rich and famous. Now back in Los Angeles, a city that once adored him and later shunned him, Gus is caught up in what soon becomes a national obsession. Using real names and places, Dunne interweaves the story of the trial with the personal trials Gus endures as he faces his own mortality.
By day, Gus is at the courthouse, the confidant of the Goldman and Simpson families, the lawyers, the journalists, the hangers-on, even the judge; at night he is the honored guest at the most dazzling gatherings in town as everyone-from Kirk Douglas to Heidi Fleiss, from Elizabeth Taylor to Nancy Reagan-delights in the latest news from the corridors of the courthouse.
Another City, Not My Own does what no other book on this sensational case has been able to do because of Dominick Dunne's unique ability to probe the sensibilities of participants and observers. This book illuminates the meaning of guilt and innocence in America today. A vivid, revealing achievement, Another City, Not My Own is Dominick Dunne at his best.


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