November 28, 1941
Dear Mrs. Prouty:
I have just been reading, not with pleasure, Miss Marianne Hauser’s review of NOW, VOYAGER in the New York Times.
I don’t recall having ever heard of the lady before, but it must be obvious to any reader, I should think, that she is not a critic, but rather a young woman who fancies herself as an amusing writer – probably one who, whether consciously or unconsciously, emulates Fadiman of the New Yorker at his worst rather than at his best.
I do hope you are not letting it get you down. Out of a score or more reviews that I have seen to date, in the two months since publication, this is the only one that could possibly be construed as other than understanding and favorable. Of course, it’s possible for anyone with that kind of a mind to make fun of any book. From the time when Jeffreys, in the Quarterly Review, adjured John Keats to go to work in a drug store (“Back to your gulley pots, Mr. Keats”), this sort of thing has been experienced by scores, probably hundreds, of sound authors.
You know what I, personally, sincerely and honestly think of the book, and apparently there are a great many thousands of American readers who entertain the same view.
With best wishes always,
Mrs. Olive Higgins Prouty
393 Walnut Street
MS Am 1925 (1462), Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co. archive, Houghton Library, Harvard University