This volume brings to broader notice a writer who, though long
acclaimed by critics, has received far too little attention from
the public. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, two PEN American Center
awards, an O. Henry Award, a Ritz Hemingway Award, and numerous
fellowships, Peter Taylor surely merits such attention for his
contribution to American literature.
This book contains twelve essays by scholars and critics, four
reminiscences, and a recent interview with Taylor. Some of the
pieces presented here grew out of a symposium on Peter Taylor
sponsored by Essex Community College in April 1991; others were
solicited especially for this volume. Of both scholarly and general
interest, this first book-length collection of original essays on
Peter Taylor should stimulate interest, encourage critical
attention, and lay a foundation for further study.
Contributors include Albert J. Griffith, author of the Twayne
Series volume on Taylor, novelist Ann Beattie, editor and writer
Elizabeth Hardwick, and such established scholars as Hubert
McAlexander. New voices, such as those of Christopher Metress, who
recently completed a dissertation on Taylor, and David Robinson,
author of a forthcoming study of Taylor, are also heard. Several
former students of Taylor and renowned scholar Cleanth Brooks, once
Taylor's teacher, provide the series of reminiscences.
In the interview, Taylor articulates his aesthetic theories,
comments on The Oracle of Stoneleigh Court, and discusses his works
in progress. Most intriguing is the revelation that, at age 77, the
man novelist Anne Tyler called "the undisputed master of the short
story form" is at work on major new fiction.
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