By September 10, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

A Maxwell Revival

The Château / So Long, See You Tomorrow (Library of America #184)Library of America #179: William Maxwell: Early Novels and Stories Cover

Last month some writers and editors got together at Madison Square Park to give tribute to American author William Maxwell (1908-2000).  Dan Menaker, Edward Hirsch and Stewart O’Nan were among those in attendance.  You can view many of the speakers at this event from the link above, as well as a video of William Maxwell reading an A. E. Housman poem.

A two volume omnibus of Maxwell’s fiction and stories was just released by Library of America.  Christopher Carduff edited the two volume collection, and Library of America conducted a wonderful interview with Carduff about Maxwell and his work.

The release of the Library of America editions also prompted an NPR spot, which brough additional attention Maxwell’s way.

Admirers of Maxwell’s work, the writers he influenced and friends he made in his life, have been writing article after article celebrating this underappreciated American author.  Two days ago, an essay by John Updike came out in The New Yorker entitled “Imperishable Maxwell.”  Earlier this week, Stewart O’Nan wrote a lovely tribute, “A Master is Given His Due,” for The Wall Street Journal.

I should mention that in 2004, Charles Baxter edited A William Maxwell Portrait: Memories and Appreciations which included contributions from Donna Tartt, Ben Cheever, Ben Cheever, Richard Bausch and Shirley Hazzard.

I, for one, am thrilled to hear about the outpouring of support and celebration for Maxwell.  I look forwarding to discovering and revisiting his work this Fall.  Join me in raising a glass and one or both of the two volume set to Mr. William Maxwell.



About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

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