RARA-AVIS: the mysteries and mystery of marty holland

From: davividavid ( davividavid@yahoo.com)
Date: 29 Aug 2006

Has anyone read Marty (Mary) Holland? Considering that she had two strong noir films (D. by 2 of the most important noir directors, Preminger & Siodmak, no less) made from her novels & that James M. Cain rated her highly and wrote a screenplay based on The Glass Heart, it's a bummer that none of her three published novels has ever been reissued. I really enjoyed Fallen Angel & The Glass Heart, both great 1940s LA noirs that evoke Cain.

I've just started in on The Darling of Paris, her 3rd & last published novel before she vanished. Because I like her books, this vanishing act intrigues me. Seems that zero info. about her has survived: no biography, nada.

Of unpublished Holland and related work, the Lib. of Congress has a script for The Glass Heart in the public Cain files, which i hope someday to get a hold of. The Robert Siodmak film, The FIle on Thelma Jordan, w/Barbara Stanwyck, was based on an unpublished Holland short story. If anyone has a copy of this story or any other short fiction by M. Holland, let me know. Finally, her fourth novel, never published, entitled Scar of Encounter, exists only in manuscript form. I own a copy of this manuscript (it came from the collection of Hollywood producer Lester Cowan), but it is undated. I haven't read it yet. If you know the date it was written, I'd like to know. I'm also curious to know how many other copies of Scar of Encounter are floating around out there, if any.

I don't know if anyone likes her stuff or cares, but I wonder about her. Where did she come from? Why did she write under a male pseudonym (not hard to guess)? Why did she stop writing? What was her relationship with Cain, Preminger, Siodmak, etc.?

Funny how easily good writers get swallowed up by history--especially when it's herstory.

When I finish reading Scar of Encounter, I will bust out the 15 yr old Glenlivet and raise a glass to Mary Holland.

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