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by | Oct 12, 2020

Miss Lonelyhearts / Nathanael West

Nathanael West, although he died at an early age, has had a tremendous influence on future writers and writing, as I will discuss later. Having published only 4 books, The Day Of The Locust, Miss Lonelyhearts, A Cool Million, The Dream Life of Balso Snell,  West,...

“Spoon River Anthology”

Perhaps Edgar Lee Masters was a one-hit wonder, but what a hit it was, SRA being one of the most idiosyncratic (one might say even accidental) masterpieces in any country's literature. I believe I first came across it on a summer reading list sent to me by my high...

The Dream Songs / John Berryman

A scholar and professor as well as a poet, John Berryman graduated from Columbia in 1936, then went to study at Cambridge University for two years on a scholarship. Early on he wrote a critical biography of the American writer Stephen Crane, and...

“The Meadow” / James Galvin

First published in 1992, James Galvin's The Meadow depicts the century-long history of a hay meadow in the mountains of the Colorado/Wyoming border, told through the  eyes of Lyle, Ray, Clara, and App, of their unsentimental struggle to survive on an independent...

Wolf Solent / John Cowper Powys

Ah, the Powys family, from Shirley, Derbyshire, where to begin?  They were that rare commodity, a literary family (families who had more than two published members) who overshadowed the other two literary families, the Brontes and the Sitwells, in quantity if not in...

Myra Breckinridge

"I believe in justice, I want redress for all wrongs done, I want the good life - if such a thing exists - accessible to all. Yet, emotionally, I would be only too happy to become world dictator, if only to fulfill my mission: the destruction of the last vestigial...

James Salter

Mr. Salter, whom I should have included in my original list of writer's  writers, died on June 19 of this year. I can think of only one other contemporary writer, Gina Berriault ("Women in Their Beds"), who has written as fine a collection of short stories as Salter's...

Conrad Aiken

Conrad Aiken was another of the writers I became familiar with through my penchant for perusing the Adult Fiction section of my local public library. Not knowing where to begin I literally started from the beginning at A, and while Agee, Aleichem, Amis, Asch, and...