Now, Voyagerby Olive Higgins Prouty
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Don’t let’s ask for the moon! We have the stars!” The film that concludes with Bette Davis’s famous words, reaffirmed Davis’s own stardom and changed the way Americans smoked cigarettes. But few contemporary fans of this story of a woman’s self-realization know its source. Olive Higgins Prouty’s 1941 novel Now, Voyager provides an even richer, deeper portrait of the inner life of its protagonist and the society she inhabits. Viewed from a distance of more than 60 years, it also offers fresh and quietly radical takes on psychiatric treatment, traditional family life, female desire, and women’s agency.
Boston blueblood Charlotte Vale has led an unhappy, sheltered life. Dowdy, repressed, and pushing forty, Charlotte finds salvation in the unlikely form of a nervous breakdown, placing her at a sanitarium, where she undergoes treatment to rebuild her ravaged self-esteem and uncover her true intelligence and charm.
Femmes Fatales restores to print the best of women’s writing in the classic pulp genres of the mid-20th century. From mystery to hard-boiled noir to taboo lesbian romance, these rediscovered queens of pulp offer subversive perspectives on a turbulent era. Enjoy the series: Bedelia; Bunny Lake Is Missing; By Cecile; The G-String Murders; The Girls in 3-B; Laura; The Man Who Loved His Wife; Mother Finds a Body; Now, Voyager; Return to Lesbos; Skyscraper; Stranger on Lesbos; Stella Dallas; Women's Barracks.
"Like the film it inspired, Olive Higgins Prouty's Now, Voyager is as striking for the conventions it bucks as for the ones it embraces: a vivid reminder of a time when people crossed the ocean in liners and wore hats, and a hymn to an American ideal of social, moral, and emotional independence."David Leavitt, author of Equal Affections
"At last we have the moon and the stars: at last, that is, the public can read a novel on which one of Hollywood's most stirring melodramas is based. The movie Now, Voyager, a love story as well as a film about mothers and daughters, has fascinated female, feminist, and evendespite its heated heterosexual romancelesbian and gay viewers and critics. The novel promises to enhance our pleasurable perplexity about the film's many enigmas concerning the nature of women's most passionate attachments." Tania Modleski, author of Loving With a Vengeance
"What a satisfying book. At once tough-minded and terribly romantic, it sweeps us up in an ageless tale of love while foreshadowing today's notions of sexual liberation, emotional wholeness, and personal independence. Prouty is a wonderful writer, and her Charlotte Vale a timeless and very sophisticated Cinderella." Patricia Gaffney, author of The Saving Graces
Meet the Author
Olive Higgins Prouty (1882-1974), like many of her characters a wealthy Bostonian, was the author of ten novels, including Stella Dallas (1923), which became the basis for three films and a long-running radio serial. A graduate of Smith College, Prouty endowed a writer's scholarship at Smith that was received by Sylvia Plath, who later portrayed her patron unflatteringly in The Bell Jar.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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If you've ever been emotionally sucked into the Bette Davis gem "Now Voyager" here's the book for you. For once the original material remains intact due to the honesty of writer Olive Higgins Prouty. She pulled from her own emotional struggles, sharing them w/ the world, even if she could only reach out to a few to help. An unusual feat at that time, when propriety was a must. Die-hards will speculate whether or not they consummated at the car crash or on the balcony later, all over again. Enjoy this gem on a rainy day or a sandy, secluded beach---Bette would approve.
This is whaT books should be-inspiring and uplifting! Watch the main character turn into a butterfly! Charlotte goes from middle aged frump to independent sophisticated woman!
I bought this for my husband for Christmas because it is his favorite movie of all time. He read it within the first few days after the holiday and read several key sentences aloud while exclaiming that "the movie used the exact same wording!" If you are a fan of this or other similar Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Olivia DeHaviland, Barbara Stanwyck films from the 40s, you will enjoy reading this book, but do realize up front that it is dated and unrealistic.