PRINT September 1997


Valley of the Dolls

VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, to be reprinted next month by Grove Atlantic, was one kind of quintessential trash novel of the ’60s (another kind was Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg’s Candy), written with an insider’s eye on the showbiz of the ’50s. Its Ike-era prototype, Grace Metalious’ Peyton Place, describes the adulteries and out-of-wedlock pregnancies of a small New England town; in Metalious’ sequel, Return to Peyton Place, heroine Allison Mackenzie writes a book very like Peyton Place, finds a New York publisher, and enters a swirling cesspool of Manhattan glamour and corruption. Like Allison, Valley’s Anne Welles eschews her bucolic New England roots in favor of the big city and falls hard for a powerful man, experiences heartbreak, and learns some bitter lessons. Valley author Jacqueline Susann seized on Metalious’ Harlequin-romance-meets-Zola formula and brought it forward into the

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