James Purdy

James Purdy

James Otis Purdy (July 17, 1914 – March 13, 2009) was a controversial American novelist, short story-writer, poet, and playwright who, since his debut in 1956, published over a dozen novels, and many collections of poetry, short stories, and plays. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages. He has been praised by writers as diverse as Edward Albee, James M. Cain, Lillian Hellman, Francis King, Marianne Moore, Dorothy Parker, Dame Edith Sitwell, Terry Southern, Gore Vidal (who described Purdy as "an authentic American genius") A.N. Wilson, and both Jane Bowles and Paul Bowles. Purdy has been the recipient of the Morton Dauwen Zabel Fiction Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1993) and was nominated for the 1985 PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel On Glory's Course (1984). In addition, he won two Guggenheim Fellowships (1958 and 1962), and grants from the Ford Foundation (1961), and Rockefeller Foundation. He worked as an interpreter and lectured in Europe with the United States Information Agency.

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