THE JOHN O'HARA SOCIETY

On May 29, 1937, publication of "My Girls." The New Yorker. Files on Parade.

In 1937 America Mrs. Cole is devastated when she discovers that her daughter Jane is having sex. At least that's the story's implication. The twist is that the mother discovered a letter from the boy friend to the daughter and opened it and read it. So the issues are the daughter having sex and the mother invading the daughter's privacy. There's a fight, but the controversy is hidden from the father when he returns from a tennis match and orders requests Jane to have the butler (there was still some wealth around in the Depression) bring him a Tom Collins.

And John O'Hara wrote this sentence: "All sounds that filled Mrs. Cole with the mysterious fear that is like the fear just before going into the doctor's inner office." (Very rare for him).

On May 29, 1962, publication of The Big Laugh. This novel was not a big seller. It is the only novel about Hollywood. John O'Hara's original intention was that it be a novella but he got carried away.
I haven't read The Big Laugh in several years, but there are good descriptions of it in Matthew Brucolli's The O'Hara Concern (Pages 290-292) and Robert Emmet Long's John O'Hara (pages 135-137).

1 comment:

Ira Fuse said...

Robert--HOPE OF HEAVEN is also a Hollywood novel.

Steven Goldleaf