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Evelyn Piper (1908–1994)

Forfatter af Bunny Lake Is Missing

13+ Works 229 Members 7 Reviews 1 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Omfatter også følgende navne: Evelyn Piper, Merriam Modell

Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) Evelyn Piper was a pseudonym used by pulp fiction author Merriam Modell.

Værker af Evelyn Piper

Bunny Lake Is Missing (1957) 123 eksemplarer
The Nanny (1964) 36 eksemplarer
The Motive (1950) 17 eksemplarer
The Lady and Her Doctor (1986) 11 eksemplarer
The Stand-In (1970) 10 eksemplarer
The Innocent (1949) 10 eksemplarer
Hanno's Doll (2016) 6 eksemplarer
The Plot (1951) 6 eksemplarer
The Naked Murder (1962) 5 eksemplarer
My Sister, My Bride (1957) 2 eksemplarer
Bunny Lake a disparu (2023) 1 eksemplar
The Sound of Years (1946) 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

Bunny Lake is Missing [1965 film] (1965) — Original Story — 31 eksemplarer

Satte nøgleord på

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Juridisk navn
Modell, Merriam
Andre navne
Levant, Merriam (maiden name)
Manhattan, New York, USA
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
New York, New York, USA
Cornell University
short-story writer
Modell, Walter (husband)
Modell, John (son)
Oplysning om flertydighed
Evelyn Piper was a pseudonym used by pulp fiction author Merriam Modell.



An extremely addictive thriller about a woman desperately searching for her daughter when everyone around her believes that she is crazy and her daughter is a figment of her imagination. Blanche Lake, a single mother, has just moved to New York with her daughter Bunny and her mother. One day, she sees her mother off to their former hometown, drops her daughter off at her new nursery school and returns to pick her up after work. Bunny does not come down, and the teachers have no recollection of her being in class. Blanche searches her apartment and the school and then involves the police. As she frantically searches the neighborhood, she gradually realizes that the police are doing nothing and don’t believe her daughter is real.

The frantic plot kept me reading–it seems like it should be easy for Blanche to prove the existence of Bunny, but her failures keep stacking up. Everything is going against her, but it is clear that there is something else going on–at first seen in a parallel plot about another mother looking for her child. There are, of course, a lot of coincidences and convenient events, but the book effectively conveys Blanche’s panic, terror and anger. At times, there’s a nightmarish, hallucinatory quality to the book. The events, in several ways, could be seen as one long gaslighting nightmare and a more extreme version of Blanche’s already precarious life. As a single mother, Blanche is already looked on with suspicion in mid-20th century America. The circumstances of Bunny’s birth add to that, and all sorts of little details–some of which hamper the search for Bunny–also show her difficult situation. Attempting to get in the nursery school, Blanche is insulted by a woman calling her a bad mother. No one at work can confirm that she has a child because her company won’t hire mothers–Blanche has had to pretend that she’s single and childfree to get a job. Blanche is a young, attractive woman–which isn’t exactly stated but is obvious in the way the male characters treat her. She notes, ominously, the looks that the cops give her–she’s used to men staring at her, but their new gaze (they think she’s delusional) is strange and unfamiliar. The two main male characters, a psychiatrist associated with the school and a friendly acquaintance of Blanche, are completely inadequate in providing support, although they weakly attempt to help and have important roles for the plot. The psychiatrist develops an unbelievable and unhealthy infatuation with Blanche, mainly because she reminds him of a disturbing past memory. Of course, Blanche switches between rage and despair–understandably, but Dr. Newhouse also wildly swings between helpful, soothing doctor (who is pretty much always paternalistic and condescending) and angry, petulant scorned lover. Wilson, Blanche’s acquaintance, is randomly cruel at times (he has explanations but not good ones) and frequently places Blanches in seemingly sexually compromising situations, even if they’re not sexual. Despite some of the flaws of the book, it was highly addictive and I read it in one sitting. The introduction in my copy was very helpful and scholarly.
… (mere)
DieFledermaus | 5 andre anmeldelser | Mar 2, 2022 |
Practically perfect in every way. Piper keeps the heat on and I had to restrain myself from peeking at the last page to see how it turned out. And I don't usually get that worked up.
1 stem
SomeGuyInVirginia | Sep 28, 2015 |
I gave my sister a copy of Bunny Lake is Missing because she liked the movie. (I've seen only the last half-hour or so.) It took her months to get around to reading it because she figured she already knew what happened. She told me that she figured the first difference, changing the setting from New York City to London, made sense because the film was British. As she read on, she discovered there were far greater differences, so many that having seen the film was no help at all in figuring out the novel. She said I could borrow it.

I read only the first 19 pages when I picked it up. The next day, though, I read what was left in one go. My sister smugly asked, Couldn't put it down, could you? (Nod.)

If you believe that there really is a three-year-old Bunny Lake, and that's cleverly left open to question, what Blanche goes through is horrifying. Her explanations are reasonable, but still raise suspicions in her listeners.

In case you were born/grew up after the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s to 1980s, being an unwed mother was once considered very shameful. It's why the word 'bastard,' in its original sense of a person whose parents weren't married to each other, was such an insult. Blanche's mother seems unreasonable today, but she could have been worse. Mrs. Lake could have followed the custom of casting her daughter out of the family instead of joining her in exile in New York.

Bunny's grandmother isn't available to corroborate Bunny's existence. Blanche refuses to give her old address. Is it because of something her mother did, or because there is no Bunny?

Another, older, child goes missing and that boy's mother is just as frantic as Blanche. If you wonder why that other mother felt she had to do what she does to prove that she's a decent woman, it makes sense if you read chapter 22, verses 23-24 of the Biblical book of Deuteronomy. (Verse 29 is even worse because that really was the best the poor girl could hope for back then. Thank God times have changed!)

Speaking of changed times, the scene involving a doll hospital owner made me wish Blanche were living when women can learn how to fight. If she were, though, she wouldn't have felt the need to leave her hometown. Still, she's not helpless, as more than one of the persons who think she's insane will learn.

By the way, the mask that Dr. Newhouse thinks about when he sees Blanche's lips is L'Inconnue de la Seine. If you've taken a CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] course, you know her face as Rescue/Resusci/CPT Annie/Anne. The open-mouthed version of the manikin isn't as lovely as the original death mask, so I would suggest looking it up online.

Bottom line: when it comes to figuring out what's going on in this suspenseful story, it doesn't matter which version you encountered first.
… (mere)
1 stem
JalenV | 5 andre anmeldelser | Jun 5, 2015 |
You pick your three-year-old daughter up from her first day of pre-school. You wait with all of the other mothers, none of whom you know since you are new in town and on your own, as they watch their children come down the stairway. You wait. And wait. But your daughter does not appear.

You look for her, for her teacher, but you can't find either. You panic when the school administration tells you they have no record of your daughter even registering for pre-school let alone attending the first day. The police show up, and you beg them to start searching for your daughter, but they seem hesitant. Soon you understand that everyone believes you don't even have a daughter at all.

Blanche Lake faces a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances in Evelyn Piper's novel Bunny Lake is Missing. She has just moved to New York City, not all of her belongings have arrived so she has no pictures of her daughter to show the police officers who doubt she exists. She has kept a low profile because she is not married to her daughter's father so no one at the office where she works even knows she has a child. One thing after another that might help her prove her child exists, fails to materialize for some reason, leaving Blanche on her own, searching the city streets throughout the novel in a Kafkaesque nightmare.

I've written before about the pleasure of the suspense in classic pulp fiction thrillers like Bunny Lake is Missing. The situation is basic, a mother searches for the daughter only she believes is real. We're spared the gory details that have become so common in today's crime thrillers. Ms. Piper can generate suspense to spare from this simple situation without invoking the latest in ritualistic serial murderers.

It's interesting to me to find that Bunny Lake is Missing has been reprinted by The Feminist Press because it's difficult to see how this novel is feminist at all. Blanche appears to be undergoing a punishment for having a child out of wedlock. Her biggest on-going fear is that someone will discover her daughter is illegitimate. The entire situation she finds herself in is the result of her affair with a married man. Her mother does not support her. The good friend she stayed with, practically in hiding, while she was pregnant and during the first few years of Bunny's life, offered to adopt the child once she married because it was the only way Bunny could have a normal life. That Blanche insisted on raising Bunny herself seems to have led to her kidnapping.

I think a clue to what the reader is supposed to take away and to what makes this a feminist novel can be found in the title. A real or imagined child is missing. Her mother has to prove she exists in order to find her. In a larger sense, Bunny is missing from the realm of acceptable children. Her mother must prove she has a right to legitimately exists--something the other mothers at the day care center do not have to do. Bunny's illegitamacy and the way this keeps her outside of the realm of 'normal' children is tied up in her abduction and in her mother's search for her. By the end of the novel finding Bunny Lake, proving she exists, will prove she has a right to exists as well.

There really is much more to these pulp fiction stories than meets first meets the eye.
… (mere)
CBJames | 5 andre anmeldelser | Jul 5, 2012 |



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Associated Authors

S. H. Courtier Contributor
Richard Starnes Contributor
William O'Farrell Contributor
Doug Bowles Cover artist
George Salter Cover artist


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