„You’ve got the one thing a writer needs: You’ve got your own voice. Now go.“

—  Elaine Dundy, Afterword to The Dud Avocado (2006), Context: The Big Personalities weighed in. Soon after its publication Irwin Shaw wrote to me praising it. Terry Southern, calling me "Miss Smarts," said I was "a perfect darling." Gore Vidal phoned one morning saying, "You’ve got the one thing a writer needs: You’ve got your own voice. Now go." Ernest Hemingway said to me, "I liked your book. I liked the way your characters all speak differently." And then added, "My characters all sound the same because I never listen." All this, and heaven too. Laurence Olivier told me that now that my book was making a lot of money we could elope and I could support us. The Financial Times ran an item which read, "Such and such stock: No dud avocado." Groucho Marx wrote me, "I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed The Dud Avocado.… If this was actually your life, I don’t know how the hell you got through it." When people ask me how autobiographical the book is I say, all the impulsive, outrageous things my heroine does, I did. All the sensible things she did, I made up.
Elaine Dundy photo
Elaine Dundy42
American journalist, actress 1921 - 2008

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