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Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren

Volume Five

Backward Glances and New Visions, 1969-1979

Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren | Southern Literary Studies

584 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations

ebook available


  Hardcover / 9780807138274 / June 2011

The years 1969 and 1979 bookend a volatile decade in American history. As an articulate witness to the era of the Vietnam War, Watergate, Jimmy Carter, and the national "malaise," Robert Penn Warren produced a phenomenal body of work, securing his place in the canon of American poetry.

Volume five of Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren: Backward Glances and New Visions, 1969-1979 includes Warren's letters to friends, family, peers, editors, inquiring scholars, and critics--recording the details of his personal and professional life and illustrating his pivotal role in twentieth-century American literature.

In these turbulent but fruitful years, Warren produced both Audubon: A Vision (1969) and the revised version of Brother to Dragons (1979). In between lay some of Warren's most searching work as poet, novelist, literary critic, and social commentator. During this era Warren's achievements included his highly experimental and complex Or Else--Poem/Poems (1974) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Now and Then (1978). Before the end of the 1970s three more novels appeared concluding with his final book of fiction, A Place to Come To. This volume provides insight into Warren's inspiration during a remarkably productive era and will prove an essential resource on his life and work.

Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) was born in Guthrie, Kentucky, and attended Vanderbilt University, where he became a member of the Fugitive movement. An acclaimed novelist, poet, critic, and teacher, the author of dozens of books, he was a man of letters in the truest sense. He was the only writer ever to receive Pulitzer Prizes in both fiction and poetry.

James A. Perkins, professor emeritus of English and public relations at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, is the editor of The Cass Mastern Material: The Core of Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men.” Together, Hendricks and Perkins have edited For the Record: A Robert Drake Reader; David Madden: A Writer for All Genres; and with William Bedford Clark, volumes three through five of the Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren.

Randy Hendricks is a professor of English and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of West Georgia. He is the author of Lonelier than God: Robert Penn Warren and the Southern Exile and a collection of short stories, The Twelfth Year and Other Times.

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