Tag Archives: New York

Reviews of Published Diaries


What have others said about the published Diaries? In her novels, Powell is cold-eyed and confident; in her diaries, the mask sometimes slips, and she reveals the debilitating effects of writing brilliantly and selling poorly. She is vain (“In ‘Turn, Magic Wheel,’ I believe firmly that I have the perfect New York story”) and self-pitying […]

1931 Diary

Cover 1931 Diary

The first of Powell’s great diaries. All of a sudden, she begins to write extended mood pieces and observations about her life, her friends, her New York City, and anything that captures her interest. At the end of the year she moves to Hollywood where she lives in the Chateau Elysée. She will live there […]

1932 Diary

Cover 1932 Diary

Another very rich and substantial diary. Powell begins the year in Hollywood then flees back first to Ohio and then to New York. Very little of this has ever been printed. Publication of “Come to Sorrento,” which the publishers insist upon calling “The Tenth Moon.” Here is Powell’s uncut entry for August 15, 1932. Much […]

1934 Diary

Cover 1934 Diary

Powell completes “Jig-Saw,” which does only moderately better than “Big Night,” but is published in book form. Powell’s novel “The Story of a Country Boy” is published. She also begins the first of her great New York satires, “Turn, Magic Wheel.”

1936 Diary

Cover 1936 Diary

Another diary in frail shape. Powell published “Turn, Magic Wheel” to enthusiastic reviews and poor sales. Her diaries from the mid-thirties are filled with vignettes—some humorous, some tragic—that she observed in New York and elsewhere. Powell was already planning her first book of short stories in 1936. A collection would not be published for another […]

1946 Diary

Cover 1946 Diary

Postwar New York: Anecdotes about artists Niles Spencer, Reginald Marsh, and Peggy Bacon. Powell greatly distressed by Bikini atom bomb tests.

1951 Diary

Cover 1951 Diary

Powell leaves Paris for London in early January then sails home to New York. She assembles the collection of her short stories that will be published in 1952 as “Sunday, Monday and Always.”

1954 Diary

Cover 1954 Diary

Publication of “The Wicked Pavilion.” A new friendship with Gore Vidal, whose championship would help launch the Dawn Powell revival 30 years later. Visits to her son Jojo at Manhattan State Hospital on Ward’s Island. Reviewing books for the New York Post. Powell’s early response to Gore Vidal, who would do so much to revive […]

1955 Diary

Cover 1955 Diary

Powell begins work on her atypical French novel “A Cage for Lovers” at Yaddo. She meets Jacqueline Miller (later Rice), who would become her executrix. Powell is off to Yaddo, but not before finishing one of her many book reviews for the New York Post.

1965 Diary

Cover 1965 Diary

Powell’s last diary kept as she loses weight and grows more sickly. Many of the entries this year are about her failing health and her determination to try to continue writing. She is delighted by the birth of Jacqueline Miller Rice’s daughter named Hilary Dawn. Powell dies at St. Luke’s Hospital on November 14, 1965—the […]