Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

the literary lady vanishes

At Lapham's Quarterly, the sad and curious story of Barbara Follett--she was a fresh literary sensation at the age of 12, an author of reckoning by 14, a teenage bride by 19 and a missing persons case by 25.

This girl—who should have been America’s next great literary woman—was abandoned by the two men she trusted, and her fame forgotten by a public that she never trusted in the first place. Her writings, out of print for many decades, only exist today in six archival boxes at Columbia University’s library. Taken together, they are the saddest reading in all of American literature.

Vanishing Act - Lapham’s Quarterly.