Susann, Jacqueline: Valley of the Dolls
(researched by Chris DelGrosso)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Susann, Jacqueline. Valley of the Dolls, a novel. New York: Bernard Geis Associates, 1966. The first edition was distributed by Random House, Incorporated in the US and simulataneously by Random House of Canada, Limited in Canada. Both were released in the second week of March, 1966.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition was published in black cloth.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
452 pages, 226 leaves, i-viii and 1-5 unnumbered, 6-442 numbered, 443-444 unnumbered. [(i-ii) blank (iii) short title page (iv-v) double title page, v being primary (vi) publication information (vii) dedication (viii) extended dedication (1) short title page (2) blank (3) introductory poem (4) pill illustrations (5) first textual page (6-442) numbered text pages (443-444) blank].
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The first edition was neither edited nor introduced, though a poem written by Jacqueline Susann precedes the first chapter.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
The book is not illustrated, though anonymously drawn or produced images of pills are on the first page of each chapter, the page preceding the first chapter, and the cover.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The text is presented in an extremely readable, though somewhat small, font. The asymmetrical margins (larger on the bottom and left than on the top and right) are slightly offensive to the eye. Overall, however, the printing is legible and suitable. The stated page height is 22 centimeters.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper is relatively thick and has held up well in the 33 years since it was originally printed. It shows no visible signs of decay or excessive yellowing.
11 Description of binding(s)
Bound in black cloth with pill illustrations on the cover, the Alderman holding has been the victim of extensive use resulting in the taping of the spine. Thus, it is difficult to arrive at a full description of the binding. However, it appears that the spine was originally glued and it is definitely apparent that all edges were trimmed.
12 Transcription of title page
Pill illustrations / Valley of / the dolls / a novel by JACQUELINE SUSANN
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Unknown
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
The novel contains a double title page, the first (yet secondary) reads: Also by Jacqueline Susann / Every Night, Josephine / pill illustrations / Published by Bernard Geis Associates / Distributed by Random House
The dedication reads: To Josephine / who sat at my feet, positive I was writing a sequel* The extended dedication on the following page reads: *but most of all to Irving
All information indicates that the original price of the American distribution was $5.95.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Later in the year Valley of the Dolls was originally published, Bernard Geis Associates put out a book club edition. The only major difference between the two was that the book club edition contained 407 pages as opposed to the 442 of the first edition.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
There were at least eight printings of the first edition.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Bantam, 1967 1970 1974 1981 1966 Newmarket Home Library, 1966 1981(special 15th anniversary edition) Grove Press/Atlantic, 1997 1966 Simon & Schuster, 1969 Warner, 1966 1997 Corgi, 1966 1968 1984 Cassell, 1966 1973
6 Last date in print?
Valley of the Dolls is still in print by Grove Press/ Atlantic as of 1997.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
Not found.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
Not found.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
Publisher's Weekly-January 24, 1966, vol. 189, no. 4 transcription: Valley of the Dolls: a novel by Jacqueline Susann, author of Every Night, Josephine (over 25,000 copies sold). A big, brilliant and sensational novel about the men and women who inhabit the "Valley of the Dolls"--the nightmarish show business world of pep pills, sleeping pills, and bright red, yellow and green pills to chase the world away. Louella Parsons says, "It makes Peyton Place look like a Sunday School picnic." Coast-to-coast author appearances and national advertising.
New York Times Book Review--February 13, 1966, p. 23 transcription: Here is the nightmare world that Broadway and Hollywood talk about only in whispers. Helen Gurley Brown--"Maddeningly sexy, I wish I had written it."
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
Amazon.com writes, "Susann and husband/manager, Irving Mansfield changed the way books are sold and promoted." Susann and Mansfield made a name for themselves by visiting numerous bookstores and Susann became a popular guest on TV and radio talk shows.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Valley of the Dolls was filmed by Twentieth Century Fox in 1967/ The screenplay was written by Dorothy Kingsley and the film starred Barbara Perkins, Patty Duke, and Sharon Tate. The rights for the film had been sold prior to the first release of the novel. The score for the film was written by Andre Previn and released by Polygram Records. The Theme from Valley of the Dolls, a track on the score, has been recorded by innumerable artists including Ray Charles, Patty Duke, and Tony Bennet. There was also a soundtrack performed by Dionne Warwick and released by Scepter Records in 1968.
Also filmed by Twentieth Century Fox was Beyond the Valley of the Dolls in 1970, written by Roger Ebert. It was made clear by the creators, however, that this was not a sequel.
A made for TV movie of Valley of the Dolls was released in 1981 and directed by Walter Grauman.
audio cassette recordings: Beverly Hills, CA: Dove, distributed by Newman Communications, 1985. Told by Juliet Mills Kenilworth, IL: B & B Audio, 1998. Told by Jennifer Henry.
video cassette recordings of film: Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video, 1993, 1997 (30th Anniversary Edition). Farmington Hills, MI: Magnetic Video Corporation, 1980.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
French: La Valle des Poupes. tr. Gladys Molinari. Genue: Edito-Service, 1974.
Japanese: Ningyo No Tani. tr. Inoue Kazuoyaku. Tokyo: Futani Shobo, Shona 46, 1971.
German: Das Tal der Puppen. tr. von Greti Friedmann. Bern, Machen, Wien: Scherz, 1967 subsequent editions: Frankfurt: Gutenberg, 1972 Zurich: Nene Schweizer Bibliothek, 1976. book club edit.: Geutersloh: Bertelsmann, 1966.
Spanish: El Valle de las Munecas. tr. Barcelona: Ediciones Grijalbo, 1967. subsequent editions: Barcelona: Ediciones Grijalbo, 1972. Barcelona: Editorial Bruguera, 1975. Barcelona: Ediciones Orbis, 1987. Mexican edition: El Valle de las Muanecas. Mexico: Editorial Origen, 1984.
Polish: Nukkelaakso, Helsinki: Uusi Kirjakerho, 1982
Russian: Dolina Kukol. Moscow: Izd-vo "Pressa," 1992. Dolina Snov. St. Petersburg: "Severo-Zapadi," 1992.
Chinese: Wa Wa Gu. Tai-bei: Hao Shi Nian, 1980.
Korean: Wa Wa Ku. tr. Chi-ch'i-lien Sus-shan chu and Liu I-ch'ang i. Hsiang-kang: Ch'ing-tao ch'u pau she, 1980.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Born August 20, 1921 to Robert and Rose Susann of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jacqueline Susann rose to international fame as a best-selling novelist. Consistently a punching bag for literary critics, Susann's p
opularity with the public earned her the honor of becoming the first back to back #1 best-selling author?in 1966 with "Valley of the Dolls" and in 1969 with "The Love Machine" (Contemporary Authors, pp. 577-78). The details of Susann's education are sketchy, although she is believed to have studied ballet and drama in New York City. Susann was never the actress she believed she should be but appeared in 21 Broadway plays, usually in minor roles. She managed to
find the fame she craved as a 44 year old author when Geis published her fictional expose of the underbelly of Hollywood, "Valley of the Dolls" (Isaacs, 7:13). At the time of her death in 1974, Susann's "Valley of the Dolls" was regarded as the best-selling novel of all time by the Guiness Book of World Records. Despite critical astonishment and disgust, "Valley of the Dolls'" immense readability propelled it
to the #1 and kept it there for months (Ephron 3). "I'd like to have the critics like me, I'd like to have everybody like what I write. But when my book sells, I know people like the book. That's the most important thing because writing is communication," said Susann (Contemporary Authors, 577). And c
ommunicate she did. Susann is credited as one of the first to put the "standard female fantasy" to paper?that of "going to the big city, striking it rich, and meeting fabulous men." In addition, she gave women readers room to feel superior to her novel'
s heroines?characters whose philandering and debauchery made their lives chaotic messes (Contemporary Authors, 577). Though "Valley of the Dolls" is a fictional work, numerous rumors have sprouted regarding the real-life inspirations for the novel's characters?namely actresses Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Tate, and Ethel Merman. The inclusion of Ethel Merman i
s particularly interesting considering the rumors of Susann and Merman's lesbian affair ("The Jacqueline Susann Story"). Beyond this alleged affair, Susann's life provided extensive grist for the rumor mill. Her only child, a retarded son named Guy, was rumored to have been a shame to Susann--so much so that she hid his existence and had him institutionalized. This negli
gence provided yet further proof that Susann was not the kindest of women. As an author, the success of "Valley of the Dolls" motivated Susann to publish three more novels?"The Love Machine," 1969, "Once Is Not Enough," 1973, and the posthumously publish
ed "Dolores," 1976 ("The Jacqueline Susann Story"). Her death on September 21, 1974 at Doctors Hospital in New York City, supposedly from cancer, caused more rumors to swirl about the true nature of her death. She left behind her only husband, television and film producer Irving Mansfield, her son Guy, a
nd her apartment at 112 Central Park South. Her life spawned two biographies, two films, and at least one tribute publication?The Dead Jackie Quarterly.
Cited Sources: Contemporary Authors, vol. 65-68, pp. 577-78. Issacs, Susan. "Chiffon Was Not Enough." New York Times. 29 Mar 1987: Section 7, Page 13. Ephron, Nora. "The Love Machine." New York Times Book Review. 11 May 1969: 3, 12. "The Jacqueline Susann Story." The Austin Chronicle. 16 Feb. 1998.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
"For the reader who has put away comic books but isn't ready for editorials in The Daily News, "Valley of the Dolls" may bridge an awkward gap," wrote Gloria Steinem of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls (Book Week, April 24, 1966). Such was the general critical sentiment for a book that nonetheless became one of the bestsellers of all time.
To call the reception to "Valley of the Dolls" negative wouldn't do justice to the hatred reviewers had for this novel. Due to its undaunted popularity with the public, however, critics were forced to review a novel that otherwise might not have merited such reception. Clearly, they were not happy about it. "As might be expected, the language is frank, sometimes rough, and often explicit. Consequently, there are no peaks visible and no summit of success visible from this valley," wrote reviewer J.A. LaHaye (Best Sellers, March 1, 1966).
The general consensus among reviewers clearly was that "Valley of the Dolls" was trash. Nevertheless, few critics could ignore its readability or truly be astonished at its popular success. " . . . it was the kind of book most of its readers (most of whom were women and a large number of whom were teen-agers) could not put down. I, for one, could not: I am an inveterate reader of gossip columns and an occasional reader of movie magazines, and for me, reading "Valley of the Dolls" was like reading a very very long, absolutely delicious gossip column full of nothing but blind items; the fact that the names were changed and the characters disguised just made it more fun," wrote reviewer Nora Ephron (New York Times Book Review, May 11, 1969).
reviews: The American Spectator. p. 560. Oct. 28, 1966. The American Spectator. 220:104. Jan. 26, 1968. Books and Bookmen. 12:85. Dec. 1966. Cosmopolitan. Jan. 1967, Hill, W.B. America. 114:672. May 7, 1966. LaHaye, J.A. Best Sellers. 25:446. March 1, 1966. Life. 61:68-70. Aug. 19, 1966. The New Statesman. 75:303. March 8, 1968. The New York Times. p. 29. Feb. 4, 1966. The New York Times Book Review. p. 30. April 10, 1966. Newsweek. 67:101A. June 6, 1966. Publisher's Weekly. 189:51. March 21, 1966. Publisher's Weekly. 191:42. May 15, 1967. Punch. Jan. 31, 1968. The Saturday Evening Post. Feb. 24, 1968. Steinem, Gloria. Book Week. p. 11. April 24, 1966. Time. p. 90. April 22, 1966. The Village Voice. Jan. 25, 1968.
sources: Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature Book Review Digest Book Review Index An Index to Book Review in the Humanities Contemporary Authors Contemporary Literary Criticism reviews cited in the above summary of reception are noted in the general list of reviews
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
"For the reader who has put away comic books but isn't ready for editorials in The Daily News, "Valley of the Dolls" may bridge an awkward gap," wrote Gloria Steinem of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls (Book Week, April 24, 1966). Such was the general critical sentiment for a book that nonetheless became one of the bestsellers of all time.
To call the reception to "Valley of the Dolls" negative wouldn't do justice to the hatred reviewers had for this novel. Due to its undaunted popularity with the public, however, critics were forced to review a novel that otherwise might not have merited such reception. Clearly, they were not happy about it. "As might be expected, the language is frank, sometimes rough, and often explicit. Consequently, there are no peaks visible and no summit of success visible from this valley," wrote reviewer J.A. LaHaye (Best Sellers, March 1, 1966).
The general consensus among reviewers clearly was that "Valley of the Dolls" was trash. Nevertheless, few critics could ignore its readability or truly be astonished at its popular success. " . . . it was the kind of book most of its readers (most of whom were women and a large number of whom were teen-agers) could not put down. I, for one, could not: I am an inveterate reader of gossip columns and an occasional reader of movie magazines, and for me, reading "Valley of the Dolls" was like reading a very very long, absolutely delicious gossip column full of nothing but blind items; the fact that the names were changed and the characters disguised just made it more fun," wrote reviewer Nora Ephron (New York Times Book Review, May 11, 1969).
reviews: The American Spectator. p. 560. Oct. 28, 1966. The American Spectator. 220:104. Jan. 26, 1968. Books and Bookmen. 12:85. Dec. 1966. Cosmopolitan. Jan. 1967, Hill, W.B. America. 114:672. May 7, 1966. LaHaye, J.A. Best Sellers. 25:446. March 1, 1966. Life. 61:68-70. Aug. 19, 1966. The New Statesman. 75:303. March 8, 1968. The New York Times. p. 29. Feb. 4, 1966. The New York Times Book Review. p. 30. April 10, 1966. Newsweek. 67:101A. June 6, 1966. Publisher's Weekly. 189:51. March 21, 1966. Publisher's Weekly. 191:42. May 15, 1967. Punch. Jan. 31, 1968. The Saturday Evening Post. Feb. 24, 1968. Steinem, Gloria. Book Week. p. 11. April 24, 1966. Time. p. 90. April 22, 1966. The Village Voice. Jan. 25, 1968.
sources: Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature Book Review Digest Book Review Index An Index to Book Review in the Humanities Contemporary Authors Contemporary Literary Criticism reviews cited in the above summary of reception are noted in the general list of reviews
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls is often considered little more than a "period piece"--a novel whose public success simply indicated the prevailing attitudes of the mid-1960s. While this may be tru
e, Susann and her husband, television and film producer Irving Mansfield, transformed the field of book promotion. Further, Susann paved the way for such critically maligned authors as Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel by turning the "trash novel" into a
best-selling genre to be reckoned with. In a valiant attempt to gain fame in writing where she hadn't been able to find it in acting, Jacqueline Susann took a book of little, if any, literary merit and vaulted it to the position of one of the best-selli
ng novels of all time--without concurrently vaulting it to a position of timeless importance.
The progressive subject matter of Valley of the Dolls--specifically homosexuality and drug addiction--appealed to an American culture in the midst of a social upheaval. The 1960s brought such progressive programs as the Civil Rights Movement and P
resident Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. It should come as no surprise then, that Valley of the Dolls found a popular home in the era it was written--an era when mass culture began to take stock of its core values.
"A growing gay and lesbian presence in literature, theater, and popular arts took many forms in these years (1964-1968). The celebration of gay desire by Allen Ginsberg and James Baldwin, the prevalence of homosexuality in William Burroughs's phantasmago
ric Naked Lunch, and the blunt but lyrical portrait of a homosexual underground in the newly translated writing of Jean Genet were all well known," writes Howard Brick (Brick 82). While the authors Brick mentions were more a part of a subculture t
han the mainstream, Susann was far more gentle in her treatment of homosexuality and was thus able to bring a bit of that subculture into mainstream media.
"Her hands stroked Jennifer's breasts lightly and endearingly. She leaned over and rested her cheek against them. ?You see, I love your beauty and respect it. A man would be tearing into it now" (Susann 196). Since this was as racy as any of the limit
ed number of lesbian sex scenes got, Susann intrigued a mainstream whose mind may have been opening slowly without putting it off by aggressively handling such a delicate issue. The manner with which authors like Burroughs and Ginsberg treated such mater
ial (far less delicately) prevented these authors from being runaway bestsellers--although it may account for the more lasting impression that they left.
Susann also placed quite a heavy emphasis on drug use?particularly addictions to stimulant and depressant pills suffered by several of the female protagonists. Even the title, Valley of the Dolls, is a veiled reference, as dolls was slang for pill
s in the time period described in the novel. The references certainly didn't stop on the cover. ". . . she went to the bedroom, pulled the blinds to shut out the daylight, shut off her phone and swallowed five red pills. Five red ones hardly did anything now. Last night she had only slept three hours with five red ones and two yellows" (Sus
ann 313).
The mid-1960s brought increased drug use (and acceptance of it) and Susann's treatment of it most likely fostered the novel's popularity. "Hippies" were hardly averse to drug use and, according to some sources, their parents weren't either. Most middle
class "hippies" had grown up in houses where nicotine and alcohol use were the norm and amphetamines and tranquilizers ("uppers" and "downers") were hardly out of the question (Boyer et. al. 997). That Susann's characters struggle with "uppers" and "down
ers" is no coincidence. Her characters were designed to be glamorous versions of real people and their addictions to similar drugs were another method for humanizing them. Whatever Valley of the Dolls was, glamour and glitz or dirt and grit, Sus
ann made no attempt to keep her book's existence quiet.
Aided by the timeliness and somewhat controversial nature of her novel, Susann managed to change the face of book promotion. Susann and her husband Irving Mansfield hit the television and radio circuits hard in an effort to gain publicity for Valley o
f the Dolls
. In addition, the two were constantly touring bookstores (often befriending storeowners in the process) and even made a habit of waking at ungodly hours to supply pastries and coffee to the Teamsters whose job it was to deliver the books
to the stores. Susann was determined to ignore the status quo of book marketing, which precluded an all-out assault on the market. Rather, she viewed book promotion as similar to that of the promotion "any new product . . . a new detergent" (Harris 2).
Susann was certainly not bashful in the promotion of Valley of the Dolls, even by the standards of detergent. In fact, she embraced the "trash" label placed on her writing by critics and tried to put it to work for her. "The day is over when the
point of writing is just to turn a phrase that critics will quote. I'm not interested in turning a phrase; what matters to me is telling a story that involves people. The hell with what critics say" (Contemporary Authors 577).
Such an attitude made numerous writing careers possible. Danielle Steel and authors like her have built a steady, large audience by writing pieces with formulas similar to Valley of the Dolls Literary critic Nora Ephron described this formula as
follows: "Valley had a message that had a magnetic appeal for women readers: it described the standard female fantasy?of going to the big city, striking it rich, and meeting fabulous men" (Contemporary Authors 577). Not surprisingly, Valley of
the Dolls
and books in the same genre are believed to be read and written predominantly by women.
Certainly, Susann was not the first to identify this formula as one that could breed success. Rather, through her tireless efforts at promoting Valley of the Dolls, she was the first to separate her book from the innumerable others written in a si
milar vein. Not only did Susann separate Valley of the Dolls, she separated herself as an author/celebrity rather than just another author. "Successes like Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls . . . demonstrated that hard hitting public
ity could help sell books like the proverbial hotcakes and establish an author's celebrity, probably for his or her lifetime" (Geiser, 167-168).
It was Susann's exhibition of the possibility of establishing celebrity before literary merit that has enabled "Steel-style" authors to put out numerous bestsellers year after year. For the most part, authors such as Steel and Jackie Collins rely on thei
r status as celebrities/authors to push their works to best-seller status on a pretty regular basis. None of the authors in this genre are critically acclaimed?rather, their continual flooding of the book market with novels that entertain without enlight
ening keep their popularity at a high level. Susann, with Valley of the Dolls, was the groundbreaker for this type of genre and book selling.
Though the end result of Susann's writing and promotional inroads were large in the book publishing industry, the original motivations behind them were extremely self-centered. Susann had spent the first 25 years of her adulthood as a fledgling actress,
skipping from small role to small role without ever garnering the national renown she so desired. By exposing the seedy side of the famous in Hollywood?the pills, the sex, the general philandering and debauchery?Susann managed to propel her career into s
uper-stardom by writing about exactly the kind of people she had always wished she could be. In doing so, she managed to please the public to such a degree that her novel remains one of the all-time bestsellers. However, critical assessments of the lit
erary merit of her work were nowhere near as kind. "For the reader who has put away comic books but isn't ready for editorials in The Daily News, "Valley of the Dolls" may bridge an awkward gap," wrote Gloria Steinem (Book Week, April 24, 1966).
This was one of the more generous reviews that Susann received for Valley of the Dolls. Some critics were far more harsh. "She may not be very good, but she is indefatigable, and, like a nightclub performer eager to please, she delivers," wrote Joseph Kanon (Saturday Review of the Arts, April 1973). She definitely did deliver a book that the masses craved as shown by the incredible sales, but the question remains whether
it was at the expense of literary merit. The critics seem to feel that it was.
Nonetheless, if Valley of the Dolls was a period piece, it was a period piece to match all period pieces. The novel was on The New York Times bestseller list for 65 consecutive weeks and had 8 million English copies in print by 1968. It sp
awned a film version, also titled Valley of the Dolls, and translation into at least eight different languages. No matter what critics thought of it, Valley of the Dolls was a sensation with unmatched public success during the first several
years following its release. As popular as it was, however, its flame was short-lived and information on the novel or its author is scarce at best over 30 years later.
Though Valley of the Dolls has maintained a cult following among "queens and other ?camp' followers," its mass popularity has waned since that late-1960s ("The Jacqueline Susann Story," Feb. 16, 1998). When it was re-released in October 1997, crit
ic Daniel Harris had the following to say: ". . . while Valley of the Dolls is fascinating as a cultural artifact, as a piece of literature, it is a cliché-ridden potboiler that was slapped together during collaborative sessions between Susann and
a team of editor-surgeons who carved out of her sprawling manuscript a readable if somewhat fragmented story" (Harris, Oct. 19, 1997). It's doubtful that the relatively timeless works of John Steinbeck or Ernest Hemingway were ever said to have been "sla
pped together."
It is this lack of timelessness that has haunted Susann's legacy since her death in 1974. Before Grove Press re-released Valley of the Dolls in 1997, the novel had been out of print for over fifteen years. This is hardly the track record of a boo
k that did anything more than make an enormous splash and an equally rapid exit. It was the splash of Valley of the Dolls and not the book itself, however, that has made it a lasting piece?if only in the eyes of those in the book publishing and pro
moting fields.
Susann, despite the short-lived popularity of her writing, has remained a cultural icon. The subject of a 1997 biography, a 1998 made-for-TV movie, and a major motion picture set for an October 1999 release, Susann's status as a major figure in pop cultu
re is unarguable. As previously mentioned, her ability to turn the author into an occupation worthy of pop celebrity was previously unmatched and left the door open for a number of "trash novel" authors to do the same.
Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls may not be the type of work to be pored over for generations to come as a literary masterpiece, but the place Susann carved out for it remains a large one in the publishing industry. Additionally, Valley
of the Dolls
still ranks among the top bestsellers of all time?clearly an accomplishment worthy of at least some mention. Whether this public success was due to the fact that the author had her "finger on the pulse" of American culture or the simple
fact that she pushed the book harder than any book had been pushed before, its immense popularity in its time remains. Nevertheless, the book has fallen by the wayside in the eyes of the public and lasts only as a model upon which much in the world of pu
blishing is still based.
Cited Sources: (those with an asterisk were retrieved through Contemporary Literary Criticism--vol. 3, pp.475-476.)
Boyer et. al. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. D.C. Heath and Company: Lexington, Mass., 1996.
Brick, Howard. The Age of Contradiction, American Thought and Culture in the 1960s. Twayne Publishers: New York, 1998.
Contemporary Authors, vol. 65-68, pp. 577-78.
Geiser, Elizabeth A., editor. The Business of Book Publishing. Westview Press: Boulder, Colo., 1985.
Harris, Daniel. "Oh, Susann!" Pioneer Press. 19 Oct.1997. http://www.special.pioneerplanet.com/columnists/docs/GROSSMAN/docs/02361.doc
*Kanon, Joseph. Saturday Review of the Arts. April 1973.
*Steinem, Gloria. Book Week. 24 April 1966.
Susann, Jacqueline. The Valley of the Dolls. Bernard Geis Associates: New York, 1966.
"The Jacqueline Susann Story." The Austin Chronicle. 16 Feb. 1998. http://weeklywire.com/ww/02-16-98/austin_books_feature1.html



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