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Silent Film Star Celebrated at San Francisco Public Library Event Co-Sponsored by Louise Brooks Society

Silent film star shines in censored film based on controversial book.

San Francisco, CA, November 04, 2010 --( A once controversial bestseller which inspired a silent film starring screen legend Louise Brooks will be celebrated at the San Francisco Public Library on November 14th. This special event on what would have been the actress’ 104th birthday takes place in the Koret Auditorium of the main branch of the SFPL.

The 1929 Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, is based on a bestselling book first published in Germany in 1905. Though little known today, the book was a sensation at the beginning of the 20th century. Controversy, spirited debate, and even lawsuits followed its publication. By the end of the Twenties, it had sold more than 1,200,000 copies – ranking it among the bestselling books of its time, according to a new edition of the book.

A recently published edition of the original English language translation of this hard-to-find work has brought this important book back into print in the United States after more than 100 years. This new edition includes a 20 page introduction by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society (, detailing the book's remarkable history and relationship to the acclaimed 1929 film. This special "Louise Brooks Edition" includes three dozen illustrations.

Was it – as many believed – the real-life diary of a young woman forced by circumstance into a life of prostitution? Or a sensational and clever fake, one of the first novels of its kind? This contested work inspired a popular sequel, a banned stage play, a parody, a score of imitators, and two silent films. The best remembered of these is the often revived G.W. Pabst film starring Brooks. The book, by Margarete Bohme, was finally driven out of print and into obscurity at the beginning of the Nazi era.

“The book has unusual historical significance as well as literary sophistication. I set out to reclaim it from the ash heap of history,” stated editor Thomas Gladysz.

A display of archival materials relating to “The Diary of a Lost Girl, from book to film” can be found on the fourth floor of the SFPL. The Nov. 14th event is set to start at 1 pm. Gladysz will give a short illustrated talk about his new edition of The Diary of a Lost Girl, followed by a screening of the G.W. Pabst film. This event is free and open to the public.

More information on the SFPL event at and

More information on the book at


If you'd like to schedule an interview or would like more information about this event or the recently released Louise Brooks edition of The Diary of a Lost Girl, please call Thomas Gladysz at 415/695-9477 or e-mail
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Louise Brooks Society
Thomas Gladysz

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