Cult Favorite ‘Valley of the Dolls’ Is About to Come Back in a Huge Way
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of The Dolls, the legendary 60s-era book about three young women trying to live their dreams in New York City — while coping with low-key prescription pill addictions. Not only is the book a cult classic, but since the problems of pill addiction aren’t going anywhere (1 in 4 adult women are currently prescribed psych meds), we figure it’s appropriate to celebrate by introducing it to a whole new era of readers.
Candace Bushnell, the writer behind “Sex And The City” recently spoke about the influence the book had over her in this month’s issue of Elle Magazine.
“It’s the most unputdownable book,” she said. “I’ve read Dolls so many times, asking myself, What is it about this book? The writing is simple, yet somehow it’s vivid and also sad, and it also feels real. That journey of youthful sex and enthusiasm into adult realities about romance and relationships and aging; young girls becoming adult women and seeing that their girlish dreams were just girlish dreams.”
The book once spent a full 28 weeks at number on the top of the New York Times bestseller list, which is no small feat, considering the author was a woman, and the time it was written in. Critics didn’t love Valley of the Dolls. But then again, when do critics ever love any work that appeals to lots of women? Crossroads (the Britney Spears movie) has a 14% rating on RottenTomatoes, but everyone likes Crossroads. Everyone also knows the story of the Twilight saga, 50 Shades of Grey, and even the largely female-based appeal of pop stars like Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian. Even now, the Guardian just wrote about how poorly written Dolls actually is, but having sold 30 million copies, that’s not really the point.
Another good reason to make this book your summer beach read?
“It is very Tumblr-friendly,” said Whitney Robinson, the step-grandson of author Jacqueline Susann told New York Times.
An article on the current relevance of Dolls detailed a few other ways you’ll be seeing images from the book, and subsequent cult movie remake around more often. Robinson will soon probably collaborate with “Christian Louboutin and Stubbs & Wootton footwear, Pantone for a custom color, the Beverly Hills Hotel (where Susann lived in the Paul Williams suite during the filming of the movie), Warby Parker, Minnie & Emma for cellphone cases and notebooks, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Targets Breast Cancer initiative for a capsule collection.”
So the upside is, even if you have no intention of reading Valley of the Dolls, you now know about it. And you can at least watch the movie.