Monday, 9 May 2016

Super Humans - Barbara Newhall Follett

Barbara Newhall Follett began working on a novel at 8 and was published by age 12. Barbara Newhall Follett (March 4, 1914[2] – disappeared December 7, 1939) was an American tween/teen prodigy novelist. Her first novel, The House Without Windows, was published in January, 1927, when she was twelve years old. Her next novel, The Voyage of the Norman D., received critical acclaim when she was fourteen. In December 1939, aged 25, she reportedly became depressed with her marriage and walked out of her apartment with just thirty dollars. She was never seen again. Follett was the daughter of critic and editor Wilson Follett. She was schooled at home and was writing poetry by age four.[4] With the help and guidance of her father, Follett was aged 12 when her first novel, The House Without Windows, was accepted and published in 1927 by the Knopf publishing house to critical acclaim by the New York Times, the Saturday Review, and H. L. Mencken.[3][4] Her next novel, The Voyage of the Norman D., was based on her experience on a coastal schooner in Nova Scotia. It was published a year later in 1928. Again it received critical acclaim in many literary publications. However, in the same year her father abandoned her mother for another woman. The event was a devastating blow to Follett who was deeply attached to her father. Despite being only 14, she had reached the apex of her life and career. “ My dreams are going through their death flurries. They are dying before the steel javelins and arrows of a world of Time and Money.” Subsequently her family fell upon hard times. By the age of 16, as the Great Depression was deepening, Follett was working as a secretary in New York. Follett wrote several more manuscripts, including the novel-length Lost Island and Travels Without a Donkey, a travelogue (the title plays on Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey). In 2012, Barbara's nephew Stefan Cooke transcribed and uploaded Lost Island in its entirety on his website, It is also available as a book published by CreateSpace.

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