Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Divorcée Fiction

Very sad. From The Paris Review:

By the early forties, as a serial divorcée who wrote stories with titles like “Love Comes but Once” and “Say Goodbye Again,” Parrott found herself a target of increasing mockery in the press. No longer young or glamorous enough to rate in the world she knew, her name would soon be attached to a series of scandals that could not be dismissed as the prod­uct of invention. In December of 1942, she was arrested and charged with helping an imprisoned soldier to escape from the military stockade in Miami Beach where he was being held on suspicion of trafficking narcotics. Michael Neely Bryan was a twenty-six-year-old jazz guitarist who had found some notori­ety playing in Benny Goodman’s band before enlisting in the Army; the heady mixture of drugs and sex led to a high-profile 1944 trial and brought a swift conclusion to Parrott’s fourth and final marriage. Under headlines like “Novelist Seen Making Love in Army Stockade,” the writer was described as a matronly woman who, following a lurid encounter, drove through a checkpoint with her lover hidden in the back seat of her car. The two enjoyed one night of freedom at a hotel, where they registered under the name Artie Baker, then turned themselves in to the police, each making a tearful confession. “I looked at him and knew how badly he wanted to go to dinner,” Parrott said. “So I decided to take a chance for him.” (Read more.)

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