shelves for sustenance, the female reader, also a hungry daughter (very
much like Allison MacKenzie: "she devoured every word she read and
was filled with an insatiable longing for more" [ PP, p. 69]) turns to
similarly well-stocked shelves of her bookstore. Having purchased a
novel by Mitchell, Winsor, Metalious, Susann, or Krantz, this reader
may retreat to her private reading space and indulge in a feast of pages.
Under the guise of standard romance, these pages provide her with a
meal guaranteed to appeal to her palate, a meal composed of dreams,
nightmares, psychic and social structures affecting the lives of women--
mothers and daughters--in twentieth-century American culture.
Paul Jordan-Smith, review of "Forever Amber", quoted in Saturday Review
of Literature 27, no. 43 ( Oct. 21, 1944), advertisement on p. 2.
"London Sunday Telegraph", quoted on inside cover of
Jacqueline Susann Valley of the Dolls ( New York: Bantam, 1966).
Annette Kolodny, "A Map for Rereading." New Literary History 11, no. 3 (Spring 1980), p. 465.
Jacqueline Susann, Valley of the Dolls ( New York: Bantam, 1966), p. 24. All further page citations from this novel, as well as from Gone with the
Wind ( New York: Pocket Books, 1965), Forever Amber ( New York: Signet,
n.d.), Peyton Place ( New York: Dell, 1956), and Scruples ( New York: Warner
Books, 1978), are from these editions and will be included within parentheses.
Page numbers will follow an abbreviation of the novel's title: GW, FA, PP, VD, and Sc.
Mitchell's final line may be heard in many novels of this time period.
In Erica Jong Fear of Flying ( New York: Signet, 1973), for example, heroine Isadora Wing finds herself alone and lonely in Paris: "But where was my
mother now? She hadn't saved me then and she couldn't save me now, but
if only she'd appear, I'd surely be able to get through the night. Night by
night, we get by. If only I could be like Scarlett O'Hara and think about it all
tomorrow" (p. 280).
Krantz appears to have a particular affection for Mitchell's novel. In Princess Daisy, Krantz's second blockbuster, she also makes reference to the 1939 bestseller, and does so to intensify her presentation of a woman engaged
in the rigors of giving birth to daughters.
Claire Kahane, "Gothic Mirrors and Feminine Identity." Centennial Review 24, no. 1 (Winter 1980), pp. 47-48.
These descriptions of Rhett and Bruce should be supplemented with