Today is Jacqueline Susann’s birthday, she was born in 1918, and died in 1974. Susann was a victim of breast cancer back in the times when cancer was a whispered word. She kept her illness a secret, even from many of her closest friends until it was virtually impossible to do so.
Her most famous work was Valley of the Dolls, a trashy, sexy novel based on the broadway, booze, hollywood, and pills she knew so well.
It’s a great read, not for everyone, but I for one, loved it.
Once Is Not Enough, published in 1973, a year before she died, another pot-boiler which Hollywood turned into a block-buster, was the number 2 selling novel of 1973!
The movie garnered Brenda Vaccaro an Oscar nomination for her supporting role.
Susann could write characters. Crazy characters, complex characters, and characters the reader could latch onto.
Almost all of her characters were based on people she knew well, or people with whom she had worked, slept, or fought!
Truman Capote said, “Jackie Susann doesn’t write, she types!” and added, “She looks like a truck driver in drag.”
They weren’t close.
Regardless of what TC had to say, and since Summer isn’t over – if you ask the calendar – any of her books are a great Summer read.
And, with some of them, once is not enough!