What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Henry Farrell. Grand Central, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4555-4675-6
Before this tale of two sisters locked in the ultimate sibling rivalry became the hit 1962 movie starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, it was a novel by Farrell (1920–2006) written because he needed a commercial success to pay for his wife’s medical bills. As readers can see from this reissue, the original 1960 novel—about a former vaudevillian child star, Baby Jane Hudson, who torments her wheelchair-bound sister, Blanche, who was once a glamorous movie star—has a deep layer of psychological suspense that’s obscured in the campy film. Farrell delves into Baby Jane’s psyche, showing a woman mourning her childhood success and stymied by her inability to act on her emotional needs. A foreword by Farrell’s literary agent, Mitch Douglas, features gossipy tidbits about the Davis-Crawford rivalry. Three short stories, including the wryly entertaining “What Ever Happened to Charlotte?,” which inspired the film Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, round out the volume. Agent: Mitch Douglas, Mitch Douglas Literary and Theatrical. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 245 pages - 978-0-88184-725-3
Open Ebook - 978-1-4555-4717-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-2594-1
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