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The idea for Cambridge novelist Anne Bernays’s 10th novel started with a startling admission she heard secondhand. The tale was related to her by her husband, Justin Kaplan, who heard it from a student in a memoir writing class he was teaching in 2001.

That student, Berry Berenson Perkins, had been married to actor Anthony Perkins. She said she wanted to write a memoir about something she hadn’t discovered until after he died: her husband had brought his male lover into the house they shared.

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