The Brother and Naming Names


On July 18, 1936. publication of "Brother." The New Yorker. Files on Prade. John O'Hara's Hollywood. One of t he earliest Hollywood stories.

Famous actress Ruth Rugby has a younger brother Leonard, who suffers in her shadow and as a result takes not so very gentle ribbings. The story takes place at a nightclub table.

I noticed a terrible sentence, uncharacteristic of O'Hara: " . . . seltzer bottles squawked their bottom drops into highball glasses."

Another terrible sentence is in Appointment in Samarra: "The festive board groaned under the baked alaska."

And speaking of that novel:

On July 18, 1996, Pamela Mac Arthur interviewed an unnamed "Pottsville gentleman," who identified the supposedly real people: "Harry Reilly is Bill McQuail; Julian English is Clinton Whitcomb Sheafer, President of Schuylkill Motors on Centre and Washington Streets (some critics and residents say Sheafer is Hofman); Elinor Holloway is Polly Sheafer climbing up the flagpole; Dr. Malloy is Dr. O'Hara, and Mrs. Walker is Mrs. Archbald, the wife of Colonel Archbald of 1501 Mahantongo Street."

From The Genteel John O'Hara, page 217.

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