Posted on March 4, 2021 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Today is author Barbara Newhall Follett’s birthday, but it isn’t the most significant day in her life — or most interesting.

Follett, as Literary Hub informed us, left her apartment in December 1939 … and was never seen again. She was just twenty-five at that time.

How can you not want to learn more after reading that fact?

Follett was a child prodigy, writing her first novel (The House Without Windows) at age eight and releasing it a few years later to significant acclaim.

The next few books she wrote were similarly embraced, but this piece from Lapham’s Quarterly describes the tragic downfall so common among young celebrities — first there was family drama (her father abandoned the family), then a hasty marriage, and, finally, a deep sense of despair.

After a fight with her husband on December 7, 1939, Follett left their apartment; she was never seen nor heard from again.

We highly recommend reading the full story and its still-mysterious (and somewhat suspicious) ending in Lapham’s Quarterly.

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