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Ellen M. Violett grew up in a privileged, literary world on the North Fork of Long Island, NY. Famous 20th century writers like Somerset Maugham and Edna Ferber flocked around her stepfather, publisher Nelson Doubleday, bombarding the often lonely child with gifts and writerly advice.


At 25 she found herself launched on a television career after adapting Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery for television in 1950 where it created an enormous stir. As that rare creature, a woman television writer, Violett chafed against the constant reference to her gender, but she never lost her sense of humor. She struggled to come to terms with her sexual identity in an era of rigid conformity, not to mention the dangerous climate of McCarthyism. Years of writing for television have not diminished Violett's passionate idealism about the medium and its possibilities.

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