Scollay Square by Pearl Schiff
Scollay Square by Pearl Schiff

Scollay Square by Pearl Schiff

Regular price $ 30.00 $ 0.00

New York : Rinehart & Company, 1952. Hardcover. 314 pages ; 21 cm. $3.00 dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.


Here is a novel about Boston on the other side of Beacon Hill. It is not a pretty story, though at times it is tender with love. To some, it will be shocking. But most others will find it all too true.

Scollay Square was Bostons "liberty town" during World War II; the place for the quick pickup, the one-night stand, the drunken brawl, the boys and girls old beyond their years.

It was the place to which socialite Beth Prentiss came for freedom. A too old-Boston mother, a morbid, crippled brother, and the frigidity of Beacon Hill had driven her there. Beth didn't want much — a commercial art career, a little fun, maybe, and something else she couldn't name. And then she found the sailor Jerry....

It was the place where Emily Lazarro was born and bred. Emily's sister was one of Scollay Square's most hardened graduates. She was an example Emily wanted to avoid. But on the other side of the coin was the example set by the wretched marriage of Emily's parents.

That was to be avoided too. Then came Whitey, to settle the matter once and for all There were others too — many others— in Scollay Square: good, vicious, corrupt, desperate. Some even memorable like Martin, the labor lawyer And along with them was the Square itself, inextricably tangled in their lives....

They are all here in this vital novel. Seldom has a story been written so quick with the color, the mood, the nerves of a community, SCOLLAY SQUARE is a book you may like — or dislike. But you will remember it for some time.

Boston-born Pearl Schiff is a Radcliffe College graduate and social-work secretary turned actress, short-story radio-script writer. She has lived in the vicinity of Scollay Square all her life and declares "it was always something to be reckoned with" But it wasn't until World War II years, when Scollay Square became an active liberty town for sailors and their women, that she thought of writing a novel about it. The writing of the book was begun in 1947, but "what with household duties, two youngsters, a cramped, over-crowded apartment and a landlord who skimped on heat and banged on the pipes when I typed," it was not completed until 1951. The wife of Dr. Louis Schiff and mother of Arthur, twelve, and Janet, nine, she is now working on a second novel as well as short stories.

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