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Very Much a Lady

The Untold Story of Jean Harris and Dr. Herman Tarnower

A classic tale of true crime, now an HBO film titled Mrs. Harris starring Annette Bening as Jean Harris and Sir Ben Kingsley as the Scarsdale Diet doctor!

Jean Harris belonged to the last generation of Americans brought up to believe that nice girls get married. But her love affair with Dr. Herman Tarnower went on for fourteen years without a marital commitment. One night Jean Harris, the prim headmistress of an elite girls' school, shot the famous Scarsdale Diet doctor to death. Was she a jealous woman bent on revenge? Or the desperate victim of a Dr. Feelgood who kept her enslaved by drugs and passion? In this incredible book, acclaimed journalist Shana Alexander exposes the dark truth behind the killing, the high drama of a sensational trial, and the fate of a complex woman doomed by her love and her own desire.

Shana Alexander was a writer and commentator for Life, Newsweek, and 60 Minutes, as well as the author of seven nonfiction books, including the New York Times bestsellers Nutcracker: Money, Madness, Murder: A Family Album, which was made into a television miniseries, and Very Much a Lady: The Untold Story of Jean Harris and Dr. Herman Tarnower, a winner of the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. The daughter of song composer Milton Ager and entertainment-industry journalist Cecelia Ager, Alexander chronicled her coming-of-age in a privileged, unconventional family in her acclaimed memoir Happy Days. Shana died in 2005.