“The Shape of Things to Come” — Winter 1939

In 1939 Jane Hall was hard at work as a screenwriter at MGM. Eight months later she would be on the cover of Cosmopolitan. I collected dozens of old Cosmos while working on Such Mad Fun. And though it does not contain any of Jane’s stories, the February 1939 issue of the magazine is fascinating. The…

The Composite Cosmopolitan Girl in 1939

Her name was Isabel MacDougal of Greenwood, Mississippi, and, in July 1939, she became “The Cosmopolitan Girl.” Prolific author Faith Baldwin noted that she had been “selected by an impressive jury from among thousands of entrants,” in this “Autobiography of America — 1939.” Isabel appeared on the cover of the summer fiction issue of Cosmopolitan…

Such Mad Fun Prologue — All the Things You Were

I picked up the book carefully, wary of the mold on its faded cover. Rodents had gnawed through the corners and the edges of its pages. On this oppressive June day when the humidity intensified all sweet and sour odors, the book smelled terrible. It was headed for the landfill, but the playful inscription to…