Phyllis A. Whitney, Author, Dies at 104

Phyllis A. Whitney, Author, Dies at 104 – New York Times

Recently Roger Sutton wrote a post about a particular sort of teen gothic novel prompted by having just listened to Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn. Roger commented that, “When I told friends I was reading it, to a woman they started talking about their adolescent (around 10 up, I think) mania for Du Maurier.” Totally for me. Along with Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Phyllis Whitney.

Roger wondered if teens still read Du Maurier. I actually wonder who is currently writing for teens who provides what these grand dames did for me and others of my generation?

Thanks to bookmoot for reminding me of this.


Filed under YA

6 responses to “Phyllis A. Whitney, Author, Dies at 104

  1. Just a quickie question- What books did Mary Steward write? I tried to look her up but couldn’t find anything. I thought that you might mean Mary Stewart…? Thanks!


  2. Mary Stewart, you are right. I adored The Moonspinners (still have my copy of it).


  3. I’ve always been a fan of Mary Stewart as well. The Moon-Spinners was also my favorite. I can’t think of any contemporary authors in the romantic suspense genre (or, for that matter who write mysteries for teens today) who are in the same league as these women. Collectively they left such a vast legacy of work that I’m glad that we can enjoy reading them all again from time to time. Phyllis A. Whitney’s mystery books for young adults provided some much needed companionship to me as I was growing up, and later in my adult life we became good friends. She will be greatly missed.


  4. Mary Stewart was one of my favorite authors last year. I love Airs Above the Ground and The Moonspinners I”m really sad that Whitney died but am glad that she lived a long life.


  5. I was wondering the same thing when I saw Roger’s post last week. My sense is that teen are not reading these books as much today. At least, I haven’t checked out any of these authors to students at the high schools where I have subbed recently. I need to check the high school catalogs to see if they are even in the collectons. I am curious now.


  6. Beth Wheeler Dean

    I loved Phyllis Whitney as a teen. In fact, my senior English paper was entitled “The Evolution of the Gothic Novel”. I used DuMaurier, Whitney, and Victoria Holt as studied texts. I miss these authors and I don’t know of anyone who is filling the bill. I loved the suspense and darkness of this genre.

    I spent yesterday thinking fondly of Phyllis Whitney.

    Beth Wheeler Dean
    Huntsville, AL


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