Maritta Wolff

Maritta Wolff was born in Grass Lake, Michigan, in 1918. While attending the University of Michigan, she wrote her first novel, Whistle Stop, which won the Avery Hopgood Award and was called by Sinclair Lewis, "the most important novel of the year." Published in 1941, an abridged version of the novel was sent to soldiers fighting in WWII. Over the next thirty years, she wrote a string of vibrantly raw bestsellers before retiring. After her death in 2002, her family decided to publish a completed manuscript she had written years earlier and kept in her refrigerator. That manuscript, Sudden Rain, was published by Scribner in 2005, along with a reissue of Whistle Stop.

Published in Authors

Sudden Rain

by Maritta Wolff

The long-lost final manuscript from the late novelist Maritta Wolff is an exceptional rendering of middle class disaffection in the early 1970s. Sudden Rain infiltrates the interior lives of five couples in Los Angeles over the course of one stormy weekend and alters these marriages forever. The couples range in age from early 20s to late 60s: one couple’s 30-year marriage is crumbling, and their son has split from his wife of one year. A neighbor who thought she was happy with her husband starts to stray after having an eye-opening conversation with a friend, and another friend who knows she’s unhappy with her marriage looks for fulfillment only to stumble into a fatal accident. Everyone is caught up short and compelled at last to reconsider the choices they’ve made.

Maritta Wolff (1918-2002) won the Avery Hopwood Award for her first novel, Whistle Stop, at age 22. Sudden Rain is a vivid distillation of its time and place and a spellbinding achievement - one sure to invite comparison to the likes of such classics as John Updike’s Rabbit novels and Mary McCarthy’s The Group.



Published in Fiction