CHILD ELLEN by Frank Trippett


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A panoramic pseudo-Faulknerian novel based on Nemisisipiana, a mythical state, and focused on well-to-do Ellen Worth. We follow Ellen from fifteen to thirty (1941-1955). Even at fifteen she's been around the world, speaks fluent French and other languages, has published a monograph on the local indians and she has had her beloved film director commit suicide when Hollywood rejects his completed documentry of her Indian paper. All this before the novel begins. (Well, her father was 67 when Ellen was conceived -- he's still virile at 95 at novel's end.) What follows is her love for Henry, his departure as a WW II fighter pilot, his return and her illegitimate pregnancy, Henry's sudden flight to make an honest woman of a French girl (he doesn't know Ellen's condition), her marriage to an impotent alcoholic, his suicide, Henry's return to Ellen after his wife's death by automobile. Big Clinch. Woven in are threads about the beleaguered Indians, some Mescaline-drinking Cajuns, attempted rape, flood, forest fire, riot, a Mafia shooting in New York's Little Italy, and other everyday disasters. Trippett plans a sequel but what could possibly be left?

Pub Date: March 17th, 1975
Publisher: Prentice-Hall