Michael Callahan’s piece on Daphne du Maurier in the November issue of Town&Country, (pg. 54) heartened me like a light blinking in the wilderness. Recently, I’d been interviewed by a young journalist for my new book Trompe l’Oeil. She asked what genre best described my work, but when I mentioned du Maurier, I was met with a blank stare. Titles like Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, or Jamaica Inn meant nothing to her. Only when I referred to The Birds did her eyes light up, and that was because she’d seen Hitchcock’s film.
Sadly, that young woman was not the first to turn fishy-eyed at the mention of du Maurier’s name. I had to wonder how the most popular writers of her day could be so swiftly forgotten. Was her critic V. S. Prtichett right? Was she a writer who would be, “here today and gone tomorrow?”
Then I found Callahan’s article which set the world aright. Not only is du Maurier’s Rebecca alive and well after nearly 75 years, but the spritely old girl is about to have a musical version of her story told on Broadway. V.S. Pritchett eat your heart out.
As to the young journalist who frowned when I compared Trompe l’Oeil to du Maurier’s classic, I feel sympathy for her. She’s missed a good read.
(Courtesy of www.musicalinfo.at)