Mary Stolz Zena Sutherland - Essay

Zena Sutherland

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Some Merry-Go-Round Music is one] of the most delightful books this dependable author has produced. Miranda is typical without being typed: an ordinary girl from an ordinary lower middle-class family. Living in a Washington Heights apartment and commuting to a dull job in an obscure office, Miranda dreams of romance … and she almost finds it, but the man isn't really interested. Realistically, the book ends on a happy note of optimism because Miranda realizes that her chance will come—a refreshing contrast to the usual patterned happy ending. The book is absorbing chiefly because it is peopled with amazingly vivid people…. Honest and perceptive writing. (p. 68)

Zena Sutherland, in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (published by the University of Chicago), December, 1959.

Once again [with The Beautiful Friend and Other Stories] Mary Stolz proves that writing for teen-agers can be a serious and valuable literary enterprise. Here, in a collection of stories, she reveals her particular gift for insight and irony: a plain girl attains beauty through love; a possessive father drives his daughter into a sanctuary of lies; a bit of gossip disrupts a tentative romance; a dumb athlete teaches his flirtatious girl to appreciate him; a wife learns her place. These and other stories of a high literary quality will move, entertain, and enrich the readers into whose fortunate hands the collection will fall. (p. 686)

Virginia Kirkus' Service, August 15, 1960.