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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Jacqueline Susann: Bestselling Hack

Don Preston, the editor behind Jacqueline Susann's best-selling but numbingly vacuous novel, Valley of the Dolls (1966), said this about the unedited manuscript and its author: "She is a painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish writer whose every sentence, paragraph, and scene cries for the hand of a pro." Susann herself, when responding to her universally terrible reviews, said: "Too many male writers are writing for the critics. I don't write for men with pipes and leather on their elbows. I write for the public." While I agree with that sentiment, without editors like Don Preston, Jacqueline Susann would be writing for the slush pile.

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