The Disappearance of a Writer: Barbara Newhall Follett

This has the makings of an interesting and timely mystery.

Kristen Twardowski


Writers often lead strange lives, but sometimes that strangeness means they leave behind mysteries that the world is unable to solve. Barbara Newhall Follett was one such writer. Follett was born in New Hampshire in 1914, published her first novel at age 12 in 1927, and disappeared without a trace at age 25 in 1939.

Follett was a prodigy in every sense of the word. She began writing poetry at age four, and continued to play with words throughout her childhood. She published her first novel, House Without Windows, at age 12, and published her second book, The Voyage of the Norman D., at age 13. Both books were lauded by the press and received write ups in the New York Times.

Then the Great Depression shattered Follett’s world. While her family struggled to make ends meet, Follett went to New York where she worked as a secretary. During these…

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