James Purdy Papers

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James Purdy papers
Creator: Purdy, James, 1914-2009
Call Number: D.322
Dates: approximately 1950-approximately 1980
Physical Description: 2 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Series I: Plays by Purdy
Series II: Other materials by Purdy
Collection Overview
Title: James Purdy papers
Creator: Purdy, James, 1914-2009
Call Number: D.322
Dates: approximately 1950-approximately 1980
Physical Description: 2 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
James Purdy was a novelist, poet and amateur artist. Born in Ohio on July 17, 1923, he attended the University of Chicago and the University of Puebla in Mexico. Purdy served on the faculty of Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin from 1949-1953, and later worked as an interpreter in Latin America, France, and Spain, and spent 1982 lecturing in Europe with the United States Information Agency. He died March 13, 2009.

When Purdy had difficulty publishing his short stories in American magazines, he privately published his first two books, 63: Dream Palace and Don't Call Me by My Right Name and Other Stories, in 1956. Purdy sent copies of these first two books to writers he thought highly of, including the English poet Dame Edith Sitwell. She enthusiastically recommended Purdy's work to an English publisher, Gollancz, who published and distributed Purdy's books in England. Purdy's works were launched in the United States in 1957 in one volume, Color of Darkness: Eleven Stories and a Novella.

Purdy had subsequently published more than nineteen novels, including Malcolm (Farrar Straus, 1959); Cabot Wright Begins (Farrar Straus, 1964); I am Elijah Thrush (Doubleday, 1972), On Glory's Course (Viking, 1984), Candles of Your Eyes (Viking, 1986), and Out with the Stars (City Lights Books, 1992). His 1976 novel, Shallow Grave (Arbor House, 1976), was made into a film in 1988 starring Michael Biehn and Patrick Dempsey. Purdy also penned ten short story collections, and his plays have been performed in an assortment of off-Broadway theaters.

Purdy received a National Institute of Arts and Letters grant in literature in 1958, followed by Guggenheim fellowships in 1958 and again in 1962. Purdy won a Ford Foundation Grant in 1961, and a P.E.N.-Faulkner Award nomination in 1985 for On Glory's Course. Most recently, he was awarded a Morten Dauwen Zabel Fiction award from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1993. He was also the recipient of a Rockefeller grant.

Scope and Content
The collection consists of manuscripts of Purdy's plays along with actor's prompts, books and other items related to dramatic works. Also included are drawings by Purdy and correspondence. The collection was purchased from James Purdy in 1978. He donated the drawings contained in the collection to the Department in 1979. Professor William H. Riker donated a number of Purdy books to the collection in 1980. The department holds a collection of Purdy's works, which can be found by searching the Library's online catalog.

Subject(s):
Drama
Correspondence
Purdy, James, 1914-2009
Dramatists, American
Access
The James Purdy papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], James Purdy papers, D.322, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Series I: Plays by Purdy
Box 1, Folder 1Adeline
Manuscript

Box 1, Folder 2Adeline
Actor's working script

Box 1, Folder 3The berry-picker
Manuscript

Box 1, Folder 4The berry-picker
Actor's working script

Box 1, Folder 5Clearing in the forest
Manuscript

Box 1, Folder 6Clearing in the forest
Actor's early prompt copy

Box 1, Folder 7Clearing in the forest
Actor's prompt copy

Box 1, Folder 8Color of darkness
Material

Box 1, Folder 9A day after the fair
Manuscript

Box 1, Folder 10A day after the fair
Actor's script

Box 1, Folder 11A day after the fair
Actor's prompt copy

Box 1, Folder 12A day after the fair
Typescript

Box 1, Folder 13A day after the fair
Drawings

Box 1, Folder 14The Texas Arts Journal no. 1, 1977; A day after the fair
Box 1, Folder 15A day after the fair
Printed copy

Box 1, Folder 16How I became a shadow
Manuscript

Box 1, Folder 17How I became a shadow
Actor's script

Box 1, Folder 18Now
Manuscript

Box 1, Folder 19Now
Actor's prompt script

Box 1, Folder 20Q and A
Typed copy

Box 1, Folder 21Scrap of paper
Manuscript

Box 1, Folder 22Scrap of paper
Actor's script

Box 1, Folder 23Strong
Manuscript

Box 1, Folder 24Strong
Actor's script

Box 2, Folder 1True
Manuscript

Box 2, Folder 2True
Actor's prompt copy and script

Box 2, Folder 3Two plays (first edition); A day after the fair and True
Box 2, Folder 4Wedding finger
Typed

Box 2, Folder 5Wedding finger
Manuscript

Box 2, Folder 6What is it Zach?
Manuscript

Box 2, Folder 7What is it Zach?
Actor's script

Box 2, Folder 8Wonderful happy days
Manuscript

Box 2, Folder 9Wonderful happy days
Actor's script

Series II: Other materials by Purdy
Box 2, Folder 10Correspondence
Box 2, Folder 11Drawings
Box 2, Folder 12Purdy: Added materials


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