Collection contains four letters written by Josephine Humphreys to James A. Schiff; two contain forms she returned to him. The letters primarily relate to work on books regarding author Reynolds Price.
The (1) Writings Series is divided into the Books, Novellas and Articles subseries, Uncollected Works subseries, and Addresses and Speeches subseries. Gurganus's writings, collected here as manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs with notes, documenting his development of well-known and critically-acclaimed works. His collected works include White People; The Practical Heart; Plays Well with Others; and, Local Souls. Gurganus's other books and individual stories, essays, and drawings or illustrations related to the titles are included in this Series.
The (2) Correspondence Series is divided into the Chronological Correspondence subseries which consists of letters to and from Gurganus, publishers, and friends, and the Correspondence, Alphabetical by Name subseries is comprised of correspondence between Gurganus and other writers, artists, literary figures, and close friends.
The (3) Personal Papers Series contains Gurganus's family correspondence, documents, many of the books, letters, art and photographs kept in his home. Financial and legal records as well as documentation of his writing career through contracts and royalty statements are also included in this series. The (4) Artwork Series is comprised of doodles, drawings, paintings, and sketches. Series (5) Others' Works, includes books, articles, and typescripts written by friends, students, and others.
The collection documents Humphreys' professional life as an author. It contains correspondence between Humphreys and other writers and editors; business contracts with Viking Press and others for her publications and for movie rights; handwritten and typed manuscripts and proofs for her books Dreams of Sleep, Rich in Love, and Fireman's Fair, as well as typescripts of works by other authors (including Robb Forman Dew and Louise Erdrich); reviews of her own work as well as reviews written by Humphreys of others' works; and information detailing her speaking engagements and interviews. In addition, the collection contains clippings of reviews and interviews, photographs and negatives (16 black-and-white, 4 color, and 23 negatives); audiotapes from a "Women in Literature" series in which Humphreys participated; and 10 electronic files of book manuscripts, especially Dreams of Sleep, originally on computer disks and now migrated to the electronic records server. Also included are books inscribed to Humphreys and seven scrapbooks containing additional correspondence regarding her work as well as reviews.
Primarily correspondence between Roma Blackburn and literary personages, including former students of her husband, William Maxwell Blackburn, professor at Duke University. Also includes poem by Rose Styron, clippings about the poet Elizabeth Bishop, and a program from Bishop's memorial service. One volume, Heart and Home: A Memoir, was written by Mrs. Blackburn. Correspondence includes: letters and postcards from Elizabeth Bishop discussing travels, intellectual life, and literary interests; letters from William Styron discussing fund-raising in memory of Professor William Blackburn for the Duke University Capital Campaign for the Arts and Sciences; letters from Alice Methfessel, close friend of Elizabeth Bishop; and letters from Professor Blackburn's former students Sean Devereaux, Guy Davenport, and Josephine Humphreys Hutcheson. (1964-1984) (46 items) (.2 linear feet)
This addition (218 items, 1942-1985) includes letters to Blackburn from Reynolds Price and Wallace Fowlie and others regarding invitations, travel plans, news, and condolences; material related to the William Blackburn Fund; correspondence from Blackburn's summers in Magog; a story by Max Steele; 23 manuscript pages of Blackburn's autobiography; copies of tributes to William Blackburn from William Styron and Max Steele as well as statistics on the number of students he taught; and photographs (61 black-and-white prints, 4 color prints, 1 color slide, and 2 black-and-white negatives) of Tennessee Williams, Fred Chappell, William Styron, Sean Devereaux, Wallace Fowlie, and William Blackburn as well as other family members. An unidentified audio tape is included. (.6 linear feet) (acc#01-0036)
Addition (2012-0038) (0.4 lin. ft., 300 items) includes personal correspondence to Roma Blackburn from family members and others, clippings and photographs of William Blackburn, and a recording of William Styron reading from Lie Down in Darkness. Also included are writings and notes by William Blackburn mostly relating to his W.B. Yeats research.
The records of the Harriet Wasserman Literary Agency span the dates 1948-1993, with most of the records dating after 1974. The records dated prior to 1981, when the agency was formed, are those of writers who were Wasserman's clients when she was employed at the Russell and Volkening agency and stayed with her when she formed her own agency. The collection documents the careers of individual writers and in doing so indicates the varied activities of a major literary agency: preparation and submission of manuscripts, negotiation of contracts, handling of foreign and reprint rights, publicity, and the differing ways affairs are handled for lesser known or beginning writers and for major authors. Among the more prominent American fiction writers included are Richard Bausch, Saul Bellow, Frederick Buechner, Oscar Hijuelos, Josephine Humphreys, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Alice McDermott, and Reynolds Price. In addition, records about historian George F. Kennan and philosopher and historian Allan Bloom are included. The correspondence is primarily about professional matters, although some sense of the personal relationships between the agent and the more prominent clients can be gleaned.
By far, the Bellow papers comprise the largest group relating to any single author, and cover the longest span of years, from 1948 to 1993. There are relatively few papers from 1948 to 1972, but those present contain a few personal letters to Bellow from his contemporaries such as the novelists Ralph Ellison and Wright Morris. The bulk of the Bellow papers date from 1973, and convey a clear impression of the activity surrounding his increasing fame, particularly with the publication of Humboldt's Gift, the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for that novel, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976. After that date his later career is sketched in detail and follows from inception through publication such works as The Dean's December, More Die of Heartbreak, and It All Adds Up.
The collection includes, in smaller amounts, material about the careers of other authors. In the current accession, the Bausch and Jhabvala papers are particularly rich among the fiction writers. Bausch's career is outlined from his breaking into the profession in the mid-1970s to his establishment as a major author by the late 1980s. Jhabvala's papers pick up in mid-career, when she has already published several novels and won the Booker Prize in England, but prior to her growing fame as a screenwriter for Merchant Ivory Productions. Her correspondence also includes a number of letters from director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, particularly relating to the development of the film The Autobiography of a Princess (1975) and the accompanying photography book of the same name.
Of special note are the records about Reynolds Price and Josephine Humphreys. While the HWLA collection contains some unique items about these writers, especially Price, scholars should be aware that the Library is also the primary repository for the personal papers of these writers. Much more information is available in their respective collections.
Among non-fiction writers in the current (1995) accession, the papers of historian George F. Kennan and philosopher Allan Bloom document their careers in the 1980s. Most of the Bloom papers relate to the publicity surrounding the publication of The Closing of the American Mind, particularly reviews and speaking engagements. The Kennan material is more varied, including not only Wasserman's correspondence on Kennan's behalf, but several dozen lengthy letters from Kennan to Wasserman and others.
The 1999 addition (accession #1999-0275) (19,500 items, 32.5 lin. ft.; dated 1974-1999 and undated) expands on all of the collection series, especially materials related to Saul Bellow.
The 2001 addition (accession #2001-0050) (816 items, 12 lin. ft.; dated 1974-2000 and undated) includes book manuscripts, galley proofs (some inscribed), correspondence, notes, and other materials relating to the authors represented by the literary agency. Other materials include sixty-four black-and-white photographs, one black-and-white negative, four color photographs, and one audiocassette tape. Authors included in this addition are Richard Bausch, Jay Williams, Suzi-Lori Parks, Laurel Lee, Karla Kuskin, Elinore Clark, Perrin Ireland, Frederick Buechner, John Tyler Bonner, Martha Moody, Eugene Walter, Caroline Winthrop, Paul Lussier, Sharon Flake, Reynolds Price, Josephine Humphreys, Saul Bellow, George Dawson and Richard Glaubman, Julia Markus, George F. Kennan, Carole L. Glickfeld, Mark Winegardner, Michael Stewart, Diane Vreuls, Sandra Gould Ford, Charles McPhee, Mark Smith, and Harriet Wasserman herself.
The second 2001 addition (accession #2001-0115) (5 items, .1 linear feet; dated 1978-2001, bulk 1997-2001) contains correspondence between Wasserman and Shelley Gruskin. It also includes a playbill for performances of In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and Gimpel the Fool, signed by actor David Marguiles and a copy of Delmore Schwartz's In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and Other Stories. Both book and playbill are mentioned in the correspondence.
The 2003 addition (accession #2003-0051)(12,500 items, 30 linear feet, dated 1982-2000) consists chiefly of client files (correspondence, contracts, financial records, etc.), manuscripts and proofs of books by clients, published versions of books by clients, and related materials. Includes especially significant material for Saul Bellow and a few other authors, including Oscar Hijuelos and George Frost Kennan.
Addition (08-004) (18,000 items; 24 lin. ft.; dated 1984-2006) consists chiefly of client files (correspondence, contracts, financial records, etc.), manuscripts and proofs of books by clients, published versions clients, and related materials. Includes especially significant material for Saul Bellow and a few other authors, including Oscar Hijuelos and George Frost Kennan.
Addition (08-078) (8 items; .2 lin. ft.; dated 1984-2000) includes writing samples for agency authors, as well as literary award kits and publications.
Addition (12-008) (2250 items; 3.0 lin. ft.; dated 1972-2003) consists of agency files about author Reynolds Price, including general correspondence, contracts, book reviews, and other related materials.