James Purdy's picture

James Purdy


(James Otis Purdy)
USA flag (1914 - 2009)

James Otis Purdy's "dark, often savagely comic fiction evoked a psychic American landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence and isolation." (NY Times obituary) He was an author of novels, short stories, poetry and plays. His works were controversial and often panned by critics but received praise from authors such as Edward Albee, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Gore Vidal.

Purdy grew up in Ohio before moving to Chicago. After serving in the Army, he attended the University of Puebla in Puebla, Mexico, the University of Chicago and the University of Madrid. From 1949 to 1953 he taught at Lawrence College in Appleton, Wis. In 1960 he moved to New York City, where his literary career took off after meeting photographer Carl Van Vechten.
 
Series
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Awards
PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction Best Book nominee (1985) : On Glory's Course