— Elaine Dundy American journalist, actress 1921 - 2008
Afterword to The Dud Avocado (2006), Context: My success took another road. I complained to Rod Steiger, "The book’s hardly been out and everyone wants to know what I’m going to write next. I mean, don’t I get to rest on my laurels?" In fact I had no idea of writing a second novel. "No," said Rod, answering my question. "Succeeding only means you get another chance to try to do it again."
I thought about it, and then Ken said to me, "If you write another book, I’ll divorce you." I sat down and started my second novel and wondered that I knew its beginning and its end. I put it aside to write a play which went on in London.… I went back to my novel and finished it. It was published to good reviews but now there were a couple of stinkers. I tore them up and flushed them down the toilet. I’d become a writer.
In 1964 Ken and I got divorced. Well, we did bad things to each other. Now, some three decades later, I look back in gratitude at him: I look back in wonder.