This is the story of a housewife in a small western town and several men in
a western desert. I do not know of any particular location. The book
is certainly not an easy read, and when I was finished I had the feeling I had
fought my way through an obstacle course. Evidently Harold Bell Wright wrote the
outline of this story as a play for his middle son, Paul, to act in. But Paul
tragically and unexpectedly died before the script was finished. Rather than
discard the play, Wright repackaged it as a novel -- sort of.
personal relationship to this book is made clear in a note he inscribed in a
copy I found in a Pasadena bookshop. I sold the book to the
Wright family and they put it in the HBW museum in Branson, Missouri. Harold's
Wright, commented on the inscription:
In 1928, Harold Bell Wright's 26-year old son,
Paul, had a growth removed from his scalp. When an
infection set in, Wright rushed Paul from Tucson to the Albert Soiland Radiological Clinic in Los Angeles, where Paul died
while under the care of the favorite Wright physican, Dr.
Orville Newton Meland [pronounced May-lund], (b.1889),
co-director of the clinic.
Until his death Paul was acting, mostly in Tucson.
Dr. Orville N. Meland,
My dear doctor, I doubt if you find
much time for books like this, but I am
hoping you will make an effort to read
my story which was first planned as a
play for Paul. I can never forget your
goodness to him and to us all.
Aug 15, 1930
This was the last of Harold Bell Wright's books to sell fairly
well -- or well for people not named Harold Bell Wright. The books are not too hard to find, but the nice dust
jackets are a greater challenge. All first editions were published
by Appleton and look exactly like the photos at the top of this page. A. L. Burt produced a reprint.
Total sales: 48,927
Notes for Owners of "Books
Perhaps this will qualify as a correction. In my
book I wondered if the direction of the little triangular marks on the
cloth cover beside the title are of any significance. Some point
up and others point down. Several knowledgeable collectors agree
that it is probably just something that happened because the books were
printed simultaneously in different print shops. We will probably
never know for sure.
Review of Book
by Dr. Joyce Kinkead Copyright
1979 by Joyce Kinkead. Used by
Exit (1930), dedicated to his actor son Paul who died
shortly before 1930, represents another structural departure for Wright.
Divided into three parts--"The People in the Play,"
"The Play," and "After the Play"--the novel uses a
theatre motif throughout and draws from Shakespeare for its theme:
"All the world's a stage, /And all the men and women merely
players, /They have their exits and their entrances (As you Like It,
II. vii. 139-141).
The novel covers the love stories of two generations set in
Orchard Hill, Ohio. Continue>>>