Wolff, Maritta M(artin) 1918-2002

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WOLFF, Maritta M(artin) 1918-2002

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born December 25, 1918, in Grass Lake, MI; died of lung cancer July 1, 2002, in West Los Angeles, CA. Author. Wolff was a best-selling novelist who was highly regarded for her realistic portrayals of the American underclass. A University of Michigan graduate who earned her bachelor's degree in 1940, Wolff wrote her first novel as a college senior. Earning the university's Hopwood Award for Fiction, it was published in 1941 as Whistle Stop and praised by Sinclair Lewis as the most important novel of the year. It was later adapted as a 1946 movie starring George Raft and Ava Gardner. Wolff's second novel, Night Shift (1942), was also highly praised and became the 1946 film The Man I Love, starring Ida Lupino. Although not a prolific author, Wolff was consistently praised for her ability to capture true-to-life, working-class dialogue in stories that sometimes touched on controversial subjects such as incest. She wrote seven novels altogether, including About Lyddy Thomas (1947), Back of Town (1952), The Big Nickelodeon (1956), Buttonwood (1962), and one unpublished work. Wolff disappointed her many fans when she stopped writing after arguments with her publisher about edits and her refusal to help promote her fiction.



Chicago Tribune, July 17, 2002, section 2, p. 8.

Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2002, p. B11.

New York Times, July 14, 2002, p. A27.

Times (London, England), August 7, 2002.

Washington Post, July 17, 2002, p. B6.