The Literature of Hollywood - EN51032

Quick Facts

  • Postgraduate
  • 40 Credits
  • Semester 2
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • New module for 2015-16

Module Details

This module offers students an overview of literary representations of Hollywood, spanning from the 1920s to the modern day. It will analyze the various genres within the literature of Hollywood, including the cautionary tale, insider story, and celebrity memoir, as well as tracing changing conceptions of Hollywood as industry and physical space. The module will examine the relationship between film-historical fact and fictional representation; and it will also incorporate two film adaptations to explore how Hollywood responded to and transformed its representation in literature.


Dr. Ana Salzberg


The course will normally be run by one fortnightly two-hour seminar, with the support of an office hour.


  • a presentation (20%);
  • a research essay of 6,000 words (80%)


  • “The Port of Missing Girls: Patty” (1927), Adela Rogers St. Johns
  • They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1935), Horace McCoy
  • Day of the Locust (1939), Nathanael West
  • The Last Tycoon (1941), F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Big Knife (1955 film directed by Robert Aldrich, based on the Clifford Odets play)
  • Inside Daisy Clover (1963), Gavin Lambert
  • Inside Daisy Clover (1965 film, directed by Robert Mulligan)
  • Play it as it Lays (1970), Joan Didion
  • Fedora (1976), Thomas Tryon
  • Excerpted chapters from You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again (1991), Julia Philips 

Access the online reading list system

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of:

  1. the breadth of literary works chronicling the Hollywood experience;
  2. the relationship between literary and cinematic storytelling;
  3. the film-historical contexts that inspired key works;
  4. the mythology generated by Hollywood as such, and how literature contributes to this cultural phenomenon.