Sharp lad that he is, Norm picked up our reference to Marcia Davenport and ran with in the Doctorow/Collyer post below. In truth, we had bludgeoned him several times with the Davenport reference and he really didn’t have much choice. But since the subject has arisen, allow us to say that we spent perhaps ten Sunday afternoons reading Davenport’s Valley of Decision aloud in our Sunday afternoon forced reading aloud group twenty years ago, and everybody sat still for it and had a fine time. We recommend it as an example –and a good one – of writing to tell a story rather than to writing to impress Michiko Kakutani. Would-be writers who have stories to tell might want to take a look.
Marcia Davenport was born Marcia Glick. Her mother was at the time Alma Gluck Glick. That’s right. The famous soprano. You can see why she ditched her first husband and dropped the Glick. Alma went on to marry the violinist Efrem Zimbalist. Together they founded a modest television dynasty. The well-connected Marcia made her literary bones with a Mozart biography that’s still in use. American writers no longer feel free to wander around from genre to genre, and that’s too bad.