Mary Stolz Margaret A. Edwards - Essay

Margaret A. Edwards

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The nearest rival in quality [to Maureen Daly] is probably Mary Stolz. In both To Tell Your Love and The Sea Gulls Woke Me she draws sharp characterizations, brings poignancy to the problems of youth, and has well-developed plots. And yet, while her stories are enjoyed, girls in Baltimore who read them do not send their friends to the library with the general understanding that their lives will not be worth living until they read these books. It may be that this author has limited her audience by writing a junior novel so mature in its concepts that it is best understood by college girls who choose their junior novels, however good they may be. In The Sea Gulls Woke Me Mrs. Stolz includes brief discussions of T. S. Eliot and Macaulay; she skilfully depicts the hopeless fascination that an "arty" author, an older man, has for a young college girl, thereby giving her story a very grown-up tone, which many girls read with pleasure and profit but not too often with a deep enough understanding, because they are unacquainted with some of her characters or have not come across some of her situations in their limited experiences. So while librarians and book reviewers compare Stolz with Maureen Daly, the young people themselves do not. (pp. 70-1)

Margaret A. Edwards, in English Journal (copyright © 1952 by the National Council of Teachers of English), September, 1952 (and reprinted in Readings about Adolescent Literature, edited by Dennis Thomison, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1970).