BACK OF TOWN by Maritta Wolff


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Another whistle stop out of Chicago, a small town at the back end of no-where, and the disaster-driven, dead-end lives of a few of its native citizens. Sherry, who had been after the smart angles and the smart, big money, and had left town and Nell, whom he'd always loved, returns there with Fay, whom he'd married, now dying of cancer. And as Fay, unloved and unlovely in her last months, tries to hold him to the sickroom with a vicious, vengeful tyranny, Sherry takes up with Nell again, knows no peace but only the promise of her love- once Fay is dead. Caught a second time, after a careless afternoon spent with a sixteen year old looking for a free ride to Hollywood, Sherry is forced to marry Tude in fulfillment of a deathbed promise to Fay, refuses her the abortion she wants, makes the marriage even more meaningless as he and Nell are together again- in bars and hotel rooms. When Tude suicides, and he is free at last for Nell, she runs out on him in a final show of pride... A sad, shabby story of a quixotic, quarrelsome love, of furious recrimination and flagellant guilt and the wasteland of played out passion, this has all the vitality of a highpitched melodrama and a powerful vernacular. It's not art, but it moves.

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 1951
Publisher: Random House