WOMEN

How 'Valley Of The Dolls' Turned Taking Drugs Into A Feminist Act

When Jacqueline Susann's novel "Valley of the Dolls" was released in 1966, critics panned it. "She doesn't write—she types!" quipped the writer Gore Vidal, echoing Truman Capote's similar critique of Jack Kerouac. Capote would later start a turf war with Susann, saying she looked like a "truck driver in drag" on "The Tonight Show." Others would comment that she must have written her best-selling book on a "cash register." But Susann was unmoved: "Too many male writers are writing for the critics," she declared. "I write for the public."

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