There is a long list of narrative constructs from Jacqueline Susann's 1966 novel, Valley of the Dolls, that have aged badly. Among them: abject sexism, including outlandish assumptions about the female brain and body; and the idea that a 30-year-old woman — hell, a 25-year-old woman — is pretty much past her prime. Also, the concept of a "prime." Seriously. What the fuck?
So if you have not yet read the novel, which turns 50 this month (positively ancient by its own standards) here is a thought: Maybe don't.
In a nutshell, Valley of the Dolls is a story about three young women who come to New York City seeking fame, validation, and love — in varying orders of importance. Over the course of nearly 500 pages, they rise through the ranks of the Hollywood's Golden Age, achieving success and acclaim through a cocktail of beauty, talent, scheming, and being in the right place at the right time.