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Merriam Modell (19 May 1908 – 1 July 1994)[1]) (born Miriam Levant in Manhattan, New York [2] was an American author of short stories, suspense and pulp fiction, who wrote primarily under the pen name Evelyn Piper. Many had a common theme: the domestic conflicts faced by American families.

A graduate of Cornell University, Modell travelled extensively in her younger years, living in Germany from the late 1920s until 1933, after which she returned to the United States. After marriage to Dr. Walter Modell (New York heart specialist, lecturer, teacher, writer)[3] and motherhood (she had one son, John Modell), she began to write and publish short stories, many appearing in The New Yorker.

Films were made of The Nanny (1965) starring Bette Davis, and Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) starring Carol Lynley and Laurence Olivier.

She died of a pulmonary embolism at Presbyterian University Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[4]

Partial bibliography

Short stories

  • "Literature is Saved", The New Yorker, November 26, 1938, p. 51 [5]
  • "Object Lesson", The New Yorker, November 8, 1941, p. 86 [6]
  • "Month of August, ’43", The New Yorker, July 31, 1943, p. 55 [7]
  • "The Garbage Pails", The New Yorker, June 9, 1945, p. 62 [8]
  • "Ordeal by Earring", The New Yorker, November 2, 1946 [9]



  • Maria DiBattista (Princeton University): "Afterword". In: Evelyn Piper: Bunny Lake Is Missing (Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp) (The Feminist Press at The City University of New York: New York, 2004) 198-219 (ISBN 1-55861-474-5).