How well do we really know Pearl S. Buck? Many think of Buck solely as the Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Good Earth, the novel that explained China to Americans in the 1930s. But Buck was more than a novelist and interpreter of China. As the essays in Beyond The Good Earth show, she possessed other passions and projects, some of which are just now coming into focus.
Who knew, for example, that Buck imagined and helped define multiculturalism long before it became a widely known concept? Or that she founded an adoption agency to locate homes for biracial children from Asia? Indeed, few are aware that she advocated successfully for a genocide convention after World War II and was ahead of her time in envisioning a place for human rights in American foreign policy. Buck’s literary works, often dismissed as simple portrayals of Chinese life, carried a surprising degree of innovation as she experimented with the styles and strategies of modernist artists.
In Beyond The Good Earth, scholars and writers from the United States and China explore these and other often overlooked topics from the life of Pearl S. Buck, positioning her career in the context of recent scholarship on transnational humanitarian activism, women’s rights activism, and civil rights activism.
The Burroughs-Weston letters trace a fascinating personal and business relationship that evolved as the two men and their wives embarked on joint capital ventures, traveled frequently, and navigated the difficult waters of child-rearing, divorce, and aging. Brother Men includes never-before-published images, annotations, and a critical introduction in which Cohen explores the significance of the sustained, emotional male friendship evident in the letters. Rich with insights related to visual culture and media technologies, consumerism, the history of the family, the history of authorship and readership, and the development of the West, these letters make it clear that Tarzan was only one small part of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s broad engagement with modern culture.
This groundbreaking edition compiles many of the late unpublished works of American writer Djuna Barnes (1892–1982). Because she published only seven poems and a play during the last forty years of her life, scholars believed Barnes wrote almost nothing during this period. But at the time of her death her apartment was filled with multiple drafts of unpublished poetry and notes toward her memoirs, both included here for the first time. Best known for her tragic lesbian novel Nightwood, Barnes has always been considered a crucial modernist. Her later poetry will only enhance this reputation as it shows her remarkable evolution from a competent young writer to a deeply intellectual poet in the metaphysical tradition. With the full force of her biting wit and dramatic flair, Barnes’s autobiographical notes describe the expatriate scene in Paris during the 1920s, including her interactions with James Joyce and Gertrude Stein and her intimate recollections of T. S. Eliot. These memoirs provide a rare opportunity to experience the intense personality of this complex and fascinating poet.
In 1907, in a quiet English village, Theodora Bosanquet answered Henry James’s call for someone to transcribe his edits and additions to his formidable body of work. The aging James had agreed to revise his novels and tales into the twenty-four-volume New York Edition. Enter Bosanquet, a budding writer who would record the dictated revisions and the prefaces that would become a lynchpin of his legacy.
Embracing the role of amanuensis and creative counterpoint cautiously at first, Bosanquet kept a daily diary over the nine years that she worked with James, as their extraordinary partnership evolved. Bosanquet became the first audience for James’s compositions and his closest literary associate—and their relationship ultimately resulted in James’s famed “deathbed dictations.” At the same time, the homosexuality of each was an unspoken but important influence on their mutual support and companionship.
Susan Herron Sibbet’s posthumous novel gifts us with the voice of a young woman writer drawn into the intimate circle of an aging master, and is a moving addition to previous literary treatments of James and Bosanquet, even as it hews closer to fact than other works do. The Constant Listener is itself the work of an accomplished poet, and will speak to fans of James, historical fiction, and themes of art, love, sexuality, and identity.
Readers of fine novels cherish the opportunity to hear their favorite novelists speak directly, without commentary or interpretation, about how their lives and concerns drive their fiction writing. For twenty years The Missouri Review has brought these readers some of the most compelling and thought- provoking literary interviews in print. In this collection of fifteen in-depth interviews with contemporary novelists, the authors discuss the style and themes of their work, their writing habits, their cultural and social backgrounds, and larger aesthetic issues with refreshing insight about themselves and their art.
Originally conducted for the American Audio Prose Library, the interviews were then edited for publication in The Missouri Review. Here they are reproduced with an introduction and with a brief biographical and bibliographical headnote for each writer. These candid interviews with some of our favorite novelists are sure to delight all readers.
Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris
John Edgar Wideman
Robb Forman Dew
Robert Olen Butler
The place is Skull Valley in central Arizona, the time the 1930s. Taking food as his theme, Weston paints an instructive and often hilarious portrait of growing up, of rural family life under difficult circumstances, and of a remote Arizona community trying to hold body and soul together during tough times. His book recalls life in a lineman's shack, interlaced with "disquisitions on swamp life, rotting water, and the complex experience of finding enough to eat during the Great Depression."
Central to Weston's account is his mother Eloine, a valiant woman rearing a large brood in poverty with little help from her husband. Eloine cooks remarkably well—master of a small repertory from which she coaxes ideas surprising even to herself—and feeds her family on next to nothing. She is a woman whose first instinct is to cry out "Lord, what am I going to feed them" whenever visitors show up close to mealtime. Recalls Weston, "Her strength lay in a practical- and poverty-born sense that there must be more edible food in the world than most people realized," and he swears that six out of seven meals were from parts of four or five previous meals coming round again, like the buckets on a Ferris wheel.
Although Weston evokes a fond remembrance of a bygone era that moves from Depression-era Skull Valley to wartime Prescott, rest assured: food—its acquisition, its preparation, its wholehearted enjoyment—is the foundation of this book. "I did not have a deprived childhood, despite its slim pickings," writes Weston. "If I recall a boiling pig's head now and then, it is not to be read as some Jungian blip from Lord of the Flies but simply a recurring flicker of food-memory." Whether remembering his father's occasional deer poaching or his community's annual Goat Picnic, Weston laces his stories with actual recipes—even augmenting his instructions for roasted wild venison with tips for preparing jerky.
Dining at the Lineman's Shack teems with sparkling allusions, both literary and culinary, informed by Weston's lifetime of travels. Even his nagging memory of desperate boyhood efforts to trade his daily peanut-butter sandwich for bacon-and-egg, baloney, jelly, or most anything else is tempered by his acquaintance with "the insidious sa-teh sauce in Keo Sananikone's hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Kapahulu Street"—a peanut-butter-based delicacy for which he obligingly provides the ingredients (and which he promises will keep, refrigerated in a jar, for several weeks before baroque things begin to grow on it).
Through this tantalizing smorgasbord of memories, stories, and recipes, John Weston has fashioned a wholly captivating commentary on American culture, both in an earlier time and in our own. Dining at the Lineman's Shack is a book that will satisfy any reader's hunger for the unusual—and a book to savor, in every sense of the word.
Janet Burroway followed in the footsteps of Sylvia Plath. Like Plath, she was an earlyMademoiselle guest editor in New York, an Ivy League and Cambridge student, an aspiring poet-playwright-novelist in the period before feminism existed, a woman who struggled with her generation's conflicting demands of work and love. Unlike Plath, Janet Burroway survived.
In sixteen essays of wit, rage, and reconciliation, Embalming Mom chronicles loss and renaissance in a life that reaches from Florida to Arizona across to England and home again. Burroway brilliantly weaves her way through the dangers of daily life—divorcing her first husband, raising two boys, establishing a new life, scattering her mother's ashes and sorting the meager possessions of her father. Each new danger and challenge highlight the tenacious will of the body and spirit to heal.
“Ordinary life is more dangerous than war because nobody survives,” Burroway contemplates in the essay “Danger and Domesticity,” yet each of her meditations reminds us that it's our daily rituals and trials that truly keep us alive.
A Frieze of Girls speaks with a fresh voice from an American era long past. This is more than Allan Seager's story of what happened; it is also about how "the feel of truth is very like the feel of fiction, especially when either is at all strange."
Seager gives us his coming-of-age story, from a high-school summer as a sometime cowboy in the Big Horn mountains to a first job at seventeen managing an antiquated factory in Memphis to a hard-drinking scholarship year in Oxford, cut short by tuberculosis. At once funny with an undercurrent of pain, the stories in A Frieze of Girls remind us of the realities we create to face the world and the past, and in turn of the realities of the world we must inevitably also confront. "Time makes fiction out of our memories," writes Seager. "We all have to have a self we can live with and the operation of memory is artistic---selecting, suppressing, bending, touching up, turning our actions inside out so that we can have not necessarily a likable, merely a plausible identity." A Frieze of Girls is Allan Seager at the top of his form, and a reminder that great writing always transcends mere fashion.
Allan Seager was Professor of English at the University of Michigan and author of many highly praised short stories and novels, including Amos Berry. He died in Tecumseh, Michigan, in 1968. Novelist Charles Baxter is the author of Saul and Patsy.
Born to a Danish seamstress and a black West Indian cook in one of the Western Hemisphere's most infamous vice districts, Nella Larsen (1891-1964) lived her life in the shadows of America's racial divide. She wrote about that life, was briefly celebrated in her time, then was lost to later generations--only to be rediscovered and hailed by many as the best black novelist of her generation. In his search for Nella Larsen, the "mystery woman of the Harlem Renaissance," George Hutchinson exposes the truths and half-truths surrounding this central figure of modern literary studies, as well as the complex reality they mask and mirror. His book is a cultural biography of the color line as it was lived by one person who truly embodied all of its ambiguities and complexities.Author of a landmark study of the Harlem Renaissance, Hutchinson here produces the definitive account of a life long obscured by misinterpretations, fabrications, and omissions. He brings Larsen to life as an often tormented modernist, from the trauma of her childhood to her emergence as a star of the Harlem Renaissance. Showing the links between her experiences and her writings, Hutchinson illuminates the singularity of her achievement and shatters previous notions of her position in the modernist landscape. Revealing the suppressions and misunderstandings that accompany the effort to separate black from white, his book addresses the vast consequences for all Americans of color-line culture's fundamental rule: race trumps family.
Invisible Darkness offers a striking interpretation of the tortured lives of the two major novelists of the Harlem Renaissance: Jean Toomer, author of Cane (1923), and Nella Larsen, author of Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929). Charles R. Larson examines the common belief that both writers "disappeared" after the Harlem Renaissance and died in obscurity; he dispels the misconception that they vanished into the white world and lived unproductive and unrewarding lives.
In clear, jargon-free language, Larson demonstrates the opposing views that both writers had about their work vis-à-vis the incipient black arts movement; he traces each writer's troubled childhood and describes the unresolved questions of race that haunted Toomer and Larsen all of their lives. Larson follows Toomer through the wreckage of his personal life as well as the troubled years of his increasingly quirky spiritual quest until his death in a nursing home in 1967. Using previously unpublished letters and documents, Larson establishes for the first time the details of Larsen's life, illustrating that virtually every published fact about her life is incorrect.
With an innovative chronology that breaks the conventions of the traditional biographical form, Larson narrates what happened to both of these writers during their supposed years of withdrawal. He demonstrates that Nella Larsen never really gave up her fight for creative and personal fulfillment and that Jean Toomer's connection to the Harlem Renaissance—and the black world—is at best a dubious one. This strong revisionist interpretation of two major writers will have a major i mpact on African American literary studies.
This profile of the man and the writer is an introduction to the personality behind The Chapman Report and The Fan Club. Through correspondence, diaries, manuscript annotations, interviews and other private sources, the profile reveals the man who began as a sports stringer for a Wisconsin newspaper and is now one of the world's most popular novelists.
The 1940s offered ever-increasing outlets for writers in book publishing, magazines, radio, film, and the nascent television industry, but the standard rights arrangements often prevented writers from collecting a fair share of the profits made from their work. To remedy this situation, novelist and screenwriter James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice,Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce) proposed that all professional writers, including novelists, playwrights, poets, and screenwriters, should organize into a single cartel that would secure a fairer return on their work from publishers and producers. This organization, conceived and rejected within one turbulent year (1946), was the American Authors' Authority (AAA).
In this groundbreaking work, Richard Fine traces the history of the AAA within the cultural context of the 1940s. After discussing the profession of authorship as it had developed in England and the United States, Fine describes how the AAA, which was to be a central copyright repository, was designed to improve the bargaining position of writers in the literary marketplace, keep track of all rights and royalty arrangements, protect writers' interests in the courts, and lobby for more favorable copyright and tax legislation.
Although simple enough in its design, the AAA proposal ignited a firestorm of controversy, and a major part of Fine's study explores its impact in literary and political circles. Among writers, the AAA exacerbated a split between East and West Coast writers, who disagreed over whether writing should be treated as a money-making business or as an artistic (and poorly paid) calling. Among politicians, a move to unite all writers into a single organization smacked of communism and sowed seeds of distrust that later flowered in the Hollywood blacklists of the McCarthy era.
Drawing insights from the fields of American studies, literature, and Cold War history, Fine's book offers a comprehensive picture of the development of the modern American literary marketplace from the professional writer's perspective. It uncovers the effect of national politics on the affairs of writers, thus illuminating the cultural context in which literature is produced and the institutional forces that affect its production.
John Steinbeck - American Writers 94 was first published in 1971. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
An eye-opening account of time served in the great battles of our century— for workers’ rights, against Fascism, Communism, and racism—Jumping the Line is the life story of an American original. William Herrick chronicles his adventures and misadventures on the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, in (and very much out of) the Communist Party, driving a tractor on a communal farm in Michigan, jumping the line as a hobo, organizing African American sharecroppers in Georgia, at work with Orson Welles, and immersed in his own writing.
Herrick chronicles a life of great conviction and great disillusion. He went to Spain in 1936 to fight against the Fascists and there witnessed the horrifying acts that Fascists and Communists alike committed, before he was felled by a near-fatal wound. Here he tells about the life that led him, a working-class Jewish kid from New York, into the idealism and then the murky politics of this internecine conflict. From the bloody fight in Spain he takes us to the battlefields of the Communist movement in the U.S., where he found himself parading up and down the garment district of Manhattan, denouncing his former comrades.
When Paul Berman interviewed Herrick in the Village Voice in 1986, for the fiftieth anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, Herrick’s remarks so incensed other veterans of the Abraham Lincoln battalion that they picketed the paper. What William Herrick has to say doesn’t always go down easily. But for those who like the truth, with a dash of wit and a healthy dose of history, it can be exhilarating.
This gonzo-style metamemoir follows Chuck Kinder on a wild tour of the back roads of his home state of West Virginia, where he encounters Mountain State legends like Sid Hatfield, Dagmar, Robert C. Byrd, the Mothman, Chuck Yeager, Soupy Sales, Don Knotts, and Jesco White, the “Dancing Outlaw.”
Thomas Wolfe, one of the giants of twentieth-century American fiction, is also one of the most misunderstood of our major novelists. A man massive in his size, his passions, and his gifts, Wolfe has long been considered something of an unconscious genius, whose undisciplined flow of prose was shaped into novels by his editor, the celebrated Maxwell Perkins.In this definitive and compelling biography, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David Herbert Donald dismantles that myth and demonstrates that Wolfe was a boldly aware experimental artist who, like James Joyce, William Faulkner, and John Dos Passos, deliberately pushed at the boundaries of the modern novel. Donald takes a new measure of this complex, tormented man as he reveals Wolfe’s difficult childhood, when he was buffeted between an alcoholic father and a resentful mother; his “magical” years at the University of North Carolina, where his writing talent first flourished; his rise to literary fame after repeated rejection; and the full story of Wolfe’s passionate affair with Aline Bernstein, including their intimate letters.
In 1927, at the peak of his career, Zane Grey bought a three-masted schooner, which he sailed to the Galapagos Islands, later journeying to Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji.
As colorful as his characters were, so too was their creator. A consummate explorer, Zane Grey toured the world, was an acclaimed expert on salt- and freshwater fishing, and incorporated the sights and sounds he witnessed into his writings.
As a companion to his biographical work of Grey’s literary life, Zane Grey: Romancing the West, author Stephen J. May now gives as a remarkable look into another aspect of Grey’s existence, the side little known but central to the measure of the man.
Maverick Heart makes use of Grey’s own memoirs and letters to give an enlightening portrait of this larger-than-life American character and a telling insight into one of the key shapers of the cultural heritage of our country.
Melville Biography: An Inside Narrative is Hershel Parker’s history of the writing of Melville biographies, enriched by a lifetime of intimate working partnerships with great Melville scholars of different generations and by the author’s experience of successive phases of literary criticism. Throughout this bold book, Hershel Parker champions archival-based biography and the all-but-lost art of embodying such scholarship in literary criticism. First is a mesmerizing autobiographical account of what went into creating the award-winning and comprehensive Herman Melville: A Biography. Then Parker traces six decades of the “unholy war” waged against biographical scholarship, in which critics repeatedly imposed the theory of organic unity on Melville’s disrupted life—not just on his writings—while truncating his body of work and ignoring his study of art and aesthetics. In this connection, Parker celebrates discoveries made by “divine amateurs,” before throwing open his workshop to challenge ambitious readers with research projects. This is a book for Melville fans and Parker fans, as well as for readers, writers, and would-be writers of biography.
In 1853, when he was forty-nine and at the height of his literary career, Nathaniel Hawthorne accepted the post of U.S. consul at Liverpool, England, as a reward for writing the campaign biography of his college friend President Franklin Pierce. Hawthorne’s departure for Europe marked a turning point in his life. While Our Old Home, shrewd essays on his observations in England, The Marble Faun, a romance set in Italy, and the English Notebooks and French and Italian Notebooks were all results of his European residence, he returned to Concord in 1860 frustrated, depressed, and sick. He died in 1864.
A passionate advocate for preserving wilderness and fighting the bureaucratic and business forces that would destroy it, Edward Abbey (1927–1989) wrote fierce, polemical books such as Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang that continue to inspire environmental activists. In this eloquent memoir, his friend and fellow desert rat Charles Bowden reflects on Abbey the man and the writer, offering up thought-provoking, contrarian views of the writing life, literary reputations, and the perverse need of critics to sum up “what he really meant and whether any of it was truly up to snuff.”
The Red Caddy is the first literary biography of Abbey in a generation. Refusing to turn him into a desert guru, Bowden instead recalls the wild man in a red Cadillac convertible for whom liberty was life. He describes how Desert Solitaire paradoxically “launched thousands of maniacs into the empty ground” that Abbey wanted to protect, while sealing his literary reputation and overshadowing the novels that Abbey considered his best books. Bowden also skewers the cottage industry that has grown up around Abbey’s writing, smoothing off its rougher (racist, sexist) edges while seeking “anecdotes, little intimacies . . . pieces of the True Beer Can or True Old Pickup Truck.” Asserting that the real essence of Abbey will always remain unknown and unknowable, The Red Caddy still catches gleams of “the fire that from time to time causes a life to become a conflagration.”
In one of his public disavowals of autobiography, Nathaniel Hawthorne informed his readers that external traits "hide the man, instead of displaying him," directing them instead to "look through the whole range of his fictitious characters, good and evil, in order to detect any of his essential traits." In this multidimensional biography of America's first great storyteller, Edwin Haviland Miller answers Hawthorne's challenge and reveals the inner landscapes of this modest, magnetic man who hid himself in his fiction. Thomas Woodson hails Miller's account as "the best biography of this most elusive of American authors."
Between 1922 and 1930, Carl Van Vechten--one of the most significant figures of the Harlem Renaissance--kept a daily record of his activities. The records recount his day-to-day life, as well as the alliances, drinking habits, feuds, and affairs of a wide number of the period's luminaries, providing a rich resource for reconstructing the culture of 1920s New York and the social milieu during Prohibition. Bruce Kellner has provided copious informative notes identifying central figures and clarifying details.
William S. Burroughs arrived in Mexico City in 1949, having slipped out of New Orleans while awaiting trial on drug and weapons charges that would almost certainly have resulted in a lengthy prison sentence. Still uncertain about being a writer, he had left behind a series of failed business ventures—including a scheme to grow marijuana in Texas and sell it in New York—and an already long history of drug use and arrests. He would remain in Mexico for three years, a period that culminated in the defining incident of his life: Burroughs shot his common-law wife, Joan Vollmer, while playing William Tell with a loaded pistol. (He would be tried and convicted of murder in absentia after fleeing Mexico.)
First published in 1995 in Mexico, where it received the Malcolm Lowry literary essay award, The Stray Bullet is an imaginative and riveting account of Burroughs’s formative experiences in Mexico, his fascination with Mexico City’s demimonde, his acquaintances and friendships there, and his contradictory attitudes toward the country and its culture. Mexico, Jorge García-Robles makes clear, was the place in which Burroughs embarked on his “fatal vocation as a writer.”
Through meticulous research and interviews with those who knew Burroughs and his circle in Mexico City, García-Robles brilliantly portrays a time in Burroughs’s life that has been overshadowed by the tragedy of Joan Vollmer’s death. He re-creates the bohemian Roma neighborhood where Burroughs resided with Joan and their children, the streets of postwar Mexico City that Burroughs explored, and such infamous figures as Lola la Chata, queen of the city’s drug trade. This compelling book also offers a contribution by Burroughs himself—an evocative sketch of his shady Mexican attorney, Bernabé Jurado.
For author Gish Jen, the daughter of Chinese immigrant parents, books were once an Outsiders' Guide to the Universe. But they were something more, too. Through her eclectic childhood reading, Jen stumbled onto a cultural phenomenon that would fuel her writing for decades to come: the profound difference in self-narration that underlies the gap often perceived between East and West.Drawing on a rich array of sources, from paintings to behavioral studies to her father's striking account of his childhood in China, this accessible book not only illuminates Jen's own development and celebrated work but also explores the aesthetic and psychic roots of the independent and interdependent self-each mode of selfhood yielding a distinct way of observing, remembering, and narrating the world. The novel, Jen writes, is fundamentally a Western form that values originality, authenticity, and the truth of individual experience. By contrast, Eastern narrative emphasizes morality, cultural continuity, the everyday, the recurrent. In its progress from a moving evocation of one writer's life to a convincing delineation of the forces that have shaped our experience for millennia, Tiger Writing radically shifts the way we understand ourselves and our art-making.
“Described by José Garcia Villa as America’s ‘greatest short story writer,’ by Alistair Cooke as the ‘the unrecognized genius of our time,’ and by his biographer as ‘one of the most remarkable, talented, and shamefully neglected writers that America has pro- duced,’ William March (1893–1954) is remembered, if at all, for The Bad Seed, which March ironically regarded as his worst work. The emphasis in The Two Worlds of William March is on the literary career, and we get a fairly full picture of a hardworking, oversensitive, compassionate bachelor, who suffered a tragic breakdown late in life . . . [and] whose best long works, Company K and The Looking-Glass, as well as March himself are almost forgotten. . . . Simmonds’s comprehensive, scholarly, and sympathetic study may redress this unwarranted neglect.” —CHOICE
Proclaimed "one of the great American writers of short fiction" by the New York Times Book Review, William Goyen (1915-1983) had a quintessentially American literary career, in which national recognition came only after years of struggle to find his authentic voice, his audience, and an artistic milieu in which to create. These letters, which span the years 1937 to 1983, offer a compelling testament to what it means to be a writer in America.
A prolific correspondent, Goyen wrote regularly to friends, family, editors, and other writers. Among the letters selected here are those to such major literary figures as W. H. Auden, Archibald MacLeish, Joyce Carol Oates, William Inge, Elia Kazan, Elizabeth Spencer, and Katherine Anne Porter.
These letters constitute a virtual autobiography, as well as a fascinating introduction to Goyen's work. They add an important chapter to the study of American and Texas literature of the twentieth century.
William Styron - American Writers 98 was first published in 1971. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This thoughtful, engaging collection showcases the best nonfiction prose produced by one of the nation's most observant and incisive writers.
This collection of warm, heartfelt essays from award-winning novelist Vicki Covington chronicles the multitude of "in between" moments in the writer's life. These are her stolen moments in between the writing of four novels-Gathering Home, Bird of Paradise, Night Ride Home, and The Last Hotel for Women; in between coauthoring the edgy memoir Cleaving: The Story of a Marriage with her husband Dennis Covington; in between raising two daughters; in between her husband's struggle with cancer and the author's own heart attack; in between a life full of trials and triumphs, disappointments and celebrations - moments that, as Covington demonstrates here, are always rich and revealing.
In the title essay, the author questions why all seven middle-class women who live on her street confess at a neighborhood cookout that in the past 48 hours each of them has cried. In "A Southern Thanksgiving," Covington reflects on the "family dance" that is Thanksgiving in the South: "In the North they put their crazy family members in institutions, but in the South we put them in the living room for everyone to enjoy." In "My Mother's Brain," the author recounts the onset of Alzheimer's in her mother and how, with the spread of the disease, an untapped vein of love is revealed.
Some of these essays were written as weekly newspaper columns for the Birmingham News. Others were written for specific literary occasions, such as the First Annual Eudora Welty Symposium. They are divided into six thematic sections: "Girls and Women," "Neighborhood," "Death," "The South," "Spiritual Matters," and "Writing."
Throughout, as Covington casts her candid, attentive eye on a situation, confusion yields to comprehension, fear flourishes into faith, and anger flows into understanding. In memorializing the small moments of her life, she finds that they are far from peripheral; indeed, they are central to a life full of value and meaning.
Zane Grey was a disappointed aspirant to major league baseball and an unhappy dentist when he belatedly decided to take up writing at the age of thirty. He went on to become the most successful American author of the 1920s, a significant figure in the early development of the film industry, and a central player in the early popularity of the Western.
Thomas H. Pauly's work is the first full-length biography of Grey to appear in over thirty years. Using a hitherto unknown trove of letters and journals, including never-before-seen photographs of his adventures--both natural and amorous--Zane Grey has greatly enlarged and radically altered the current understanding of the superstar author, whose fifty-seven novels and one hundred and thirty movies heavily influenced the world's perception of the Old West.
One of the century’s most enduring American writers, Zane Grey left a legacy to our national consciousness that far outstrips the literary contribution of his often predictable plots and recurring themes. How did Grey capture the attention of millions of readers and promote the Western fantasy that continues to occupy many of the world’s leisure hours? This study assesses the Zane Grey phenomenon by examining Grey’s romantic novels in the context of his life and era.
Grey, whose roots were in Zanesville, Ohio, was the son of a dentist and practiced dentistry himself in his early adulthood. He threw over that life for one of adventure, traveling throughout the world in search of excitement, a course that ultimately led him to become one of America’s most popular authors. But he also was dogged by depression and inertia that affected his ability and will to work.
In Zane Grey: Romancing the West, author Stephen J. May traces the career of Grey by analyzing the development of his novels and popularity and the degree to which that shaped his world.
The book also investigates Grey’s personal life—from his fling with Hollywood to his passion for deep-sea fishing—illuminating the literature that shaped America’s vision of itself through one of its most enduring and cherished myths.
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