"Twilight Man is biography, romance, and nonfiction mystery, carrying with it the bite of fiction." -- Los Angeles Review of Books
“In Twilight Man, Liz Brown uncovers a noir fairytale, a new glimpse into the opulent Gilded Age empire of the Clark family.” —Bill Dedman, co-author of The New York Times bestseller Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
The unbelievable true story of Harrison Post--the enigmatic lover of one of the richest men in 1920s Hollywood--and the battle for a family fortune.
In the booming 1920s, William Andrews Clark Jr. was one of the richest, most respected men in Los Angeles. The son of the mining tycoon known as "The Copper King of Montana," Clark launched the Los Angeles Philharmonic and helped create the Hollywood Bowl. He was also a man with secrets, including a lover named Harrison Post. A former salesclerk, Post enjoyed a lavish existence among Hollywood elites, but the men's money--and their homosexuality--made them targets, for the district attorney, their employees and, in Post's case, his own family. When Clark died suddenly, Harrison Post inherited a substantial fortune--and a wealth of trouble. From Prohibition-era Hollywood to Nazi prison camps to Mexico City nightclubs, Twilight Man tells the story of an illicit love and the battle over a family estate that would destroy one man's life.
Harrison Post was forgotten for decades, but after a chance encounter with his portrait, Liz Brown, Clark's great-grandniece, set out to learn his story. Twilight Man is more than just a biography. It is an exploration of how families shape their own legacies, and the lengths they will go in order to do so.
About the Author
Liz Brown has written for Bookforum, Elle Decor, London Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Book Review, and other publications. She lives in Los Angeles.
"Twilight Man is rich with joy and wonder amid the drama...an epic of loss, heartbreak, and survival." -- Los Angeles Review of Books
"Brown’s research is jaw-dropping in its meticulousness. For the better part of two decades, she went wherever the next secret took her, tracking down diaries, scrapbooks, letters, passenger lists, prison records and other archival material." -- Brooks Barnes, The New York Times Book Review
“In Twilight Man, Liz Brown uncovers a noir fairytale, a new glimpse into the opulent Gilded Age empire of the Clark family.” —Bill Dedman, co-author of The New York Times bestseller EmptyMansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
“Some years ago, Liz Brown opened a drawer at her grandmother’s house and found a photograph that led her into a head-spinning real-life film noir: a tale of wealth, greed, corruption, fraud, lies, lust, and every other variation of the seven deadly sins, embodied in a gloriously grotesque cast of characters. Amid the mayhem, the shadowy figure of Harrison Post emerges as a phantom hero — charmed at the start, doomed by the end, and, now, resurrected by Brown’s spectacular, empathetic feat of storytelling. A thoroughly astounding book.” —Alex Ross, author of Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music
“With a vividness that borders on the uncanny and an insightfulness that's frankly dazzling, Twilight Man offers a striking tale of self-invention, dissolution, empire and grief. Echoes of Chandler, of Fitzgerald, and of Oscar Wilde abound, but in the end Liz Brown's utter assurance and her relentless intelligence makes this story entirely her own. An essential work of queer-, and of California, history.” —Matthew Specktor, author of Always Crashing in The Same Car
“Twilight Man is a page-turning tale of love, honor, secrets and deceit. Fortified by meticulous research, with prose both efficient and elegant, Liz Brown takes us on a journey of discovery into family, language, class, and culture. Brown’s revelations about gay life before Stonewall are enhanced by her keen understanding of the shifting social constructions of identity. Twilight Man is reclaimed history — and a delightfully good read.” —William J. Mann, author of Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
“Liz Brown reclaims a beguiling lost world of fake countesses, dilettantes, and fantastically wealthy eccentrics who populate this secret history of the love that dare not speak its name set in a Los Angeles you never knew existed. It’s a portrait of a covert high society that determinedly erased itself over the decades, and a stunning, poignant personal account of a Lotusland heretofore unexplored.” —Matt Tyrnauer, director of Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
“Liz Brown has done extraordinary work of untangling a family mystery that has as much to show us about one family as about the making of the American West. On one level Twilight Man tells the story of Gilded Age power, wealth, and corruption, and its destructive inheritance on its descendants. On another level, it’s an intimate portrait of queer life lived in the shadows of family reputation and moral crusades of the early 20th century. Brown gives us a compelling and beautifully written book about the difficulties of writing queer lives, and the importance of such work in reshaping our sense of the past.” —James Polchin, author of Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall.
“Twilight Man is a richly captivating true-life gay love story, plunging from the intoxicating heights of the Jazz Age into a shady, gripping tale of betrayal and blackmail. It's the history of one of the greatest fortunes ever made and lost, revealing for the first time through queer eyes the seductive links among the worlds of Frank Harris, Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler and the mythical origins of Los Angeles.” –Thomas Adès, composer of Powder Her Face and The Exterminating Angel
“Drawing on more than a decade and a half of research, Brown tells a riveting, heart-breaking tale of intimate betrayal and unlooked-for generosity, as well as of the unexpected fortitude, capable of surviving even Nazi prisons, of a delicate-looking man with excellent taste. This is a lovely, powerful book, woven together with great narrative skill and told with deep humanity.” —Caleb Crain, author of Overthrow
“Twilight Man is a peek through the keyhole of history into a scintillating, secretive demimonde filled with gilded mansions, bibliophilic lovers, hush-hush dealings, and tragic twists of fate. Liz Brown probes the previously-invisible dark matter of California mythology with a painterly eye for detail and an uncanny ability to read between the lines. This is the queer noir you didn’t know you needed.” – Claire L. Evans, author ofBroad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet
“A darkly glittering story, brilliantly told, Twilight Man is riveting, wise, and superbly researched. Brown weaves together big American lies and forgotten lives, Hollywood self-invention and extractive capitalism, vulnerability and violence—to show that the way we tell history always matters.” —Lisa Cohen, author of All We Know: Three Lives
“[An] absorbing debut . . . a history of power, corruption, greed, and betrayal.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An engrossing quest…Brown delivers an intimate portrait of a clandestine relationship and offers intriguing insight into queer history.”—Booklist
“A definite must-read for fans of early Hollywood, and those interested in LGBTQ history, with plenty of scandals and gossip to grab interest.”—Library Journal