Carol Ann Lincoff was born on July 28, 1938, in Pittsburgh. Her father, Escher, owned a jewellery retailer in suburban Braddock, Pa.; her mom, Jeanne (Katzive) Lincoff, was a journey agent.
As an adolescent, Carol liked opera, Broadway musicals and outdated issues. She studied English literature at Barnard School, and spent one summer time as an au pair for the socialite Babe Paley (whose husband, William Paley, was a trustee of Columbia College). She took in Mrs. Paley’s cool and thought of class — the cigarette holder, the white shirts.
She additionally sensed one thing wounded in her employer’s allure, as she wrote a long time later in an essay for City & Nation journal. These manners, Ms. Prisant speculated, “may need been an alternative to life. For Babe’s main position was one in all gracious bestowal. She struggled with or denied unhappiness and complication.”
Ms. Prisant may need been writing about herself.
She had tried suicide in school and was institutionalized — which irritated her mom, she wrote later, due to the tutoring misplaced.
In 1958, she dropped out of school to marry Mr. Prisant, a physicist from Georgia, who was a part of a workforce on the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise that designed and examined the Polaris missile. The couple lived close to Cape Canaveral in Florida and in Boston earlier than shifting to Lengthy Island within the early 1960s. Mr. Prisant liked his work and traveled usually. Ms. Prisant, following the codes of her upbringing, grew to become a homemaker, a job she suffered in.
She had anxious, perseverating ideas about dying and nervous that she may kill her personal youngster. When a driver drifted into her lane as she was within the automotive together with her toddler son, she swerved and hit a tree, and her fears have been practically realized.