cover of book

Kay Boyle: A Twentieth-Century Life in Letters
by Kay Boyle
edited by Sandra Spanier
University of Illinois Press, 2015
Cloth: 978-0-252-03931-7 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09736-2
Library of Congress Classification PS3503.O9357Z48 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.52

One of the Lost Generation modernists who gathered in 1920s Paris, Kay Boyle published more than forty books, including fifteen novels, eleven collections of short fiction, eight volumes of poetry, three children's books, and various essays and translations. Yet her achievement can be even better appreciated through her letters to the literary and cultural titans of her time.

<p>Kay Boyle shared the first issue of <i>This Quarter</i> with Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, expressed her struggles with poetry to William Carlos Williams and voiced warm admiration to Katherine Anne Porter, fled WWII France with Max Ernst and Peggy Guggenheim, socialized with the likes of James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, and Samuel Beckett, and went to jail with Joan Baez. The letters in this first-of-its-kind collection, authorized by Boyle herself, bear witness to a transformative era illuminated by genius and darkened by Nazism and the Red Scare. Yet they also serve as milestones on the journey of a woman who possessed a gift for intense and enduring friendship, a passion for social justice, and an artistic brilliance that earned her inclusion among the celebrated figures in her ever-expanding orbit.

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