Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 182
When Daphne du Maurier wrote the short story ‘‘Don’t Look Now,’’ sometimes referred to as a novella for its length, she was firmly established as a popular writer. However, as Nina Auerbach notes in British Writers, though du Maurier was an immediate success when she first started publishing in the 1930s, she was also immediately ‘‘dismissed by the cultural establishment as too readable to be literary.’’ Her work was criticized as being mere romantic escapism, but this opinion never seemed to dim du Maurier’s efforts, considering she wrote until her last days.
‘‘Don’t Look Now,’’ published in 1970, is a tale of the supernatural involving a British couple vacationing in Venice to escape the pain of their young daughter’s recent death. An encounter with two sisters at a cafe, and the blind one’s claim that she can ‘‘see’’ the deceased child sitting with her parents, launches a series of events that ends violently. The story was made into a suspense movie a few years after it was published and has remained one of du Maurier’s best-known tales.