By UIUC RBML Staff
Scope and Contents of the Materials
This collection contains the papers of William Maxwell (1908-2000), American author and editor of The New Yorker from 1936-1976. Contents include the manuscripts of published works, reviews, poetry and novels of Maxwell and other writers, as well as newspapers and journal clippings and items from his personal library. Literary and personal correspondence constitutes a large part of this collection. Correspondents include such literary figures as Mary McCarthy, Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Eudora Welty and William Carlos Williams.
Born Aug. 16, 1908, lived his early years in Lincoln, Ill. When Maxwell was 10, his mother died of the flu. His father remarried, sold the house and moved the family to Chicago. The author relived those events repeatedly in his books. His first novel, "Bright Center of Heaven," was published in 1934. He also wrote the story collections "Billie Dyer" and "Over by the River," and the 1980 novel, "So Long, See You Tomorrow," which won the American Book Award. Hired in 1937 by The New Yorker's Katharine White, Maxwell was on staff for 40 years and worked with some of the magazine's most celebrated authors, including J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, John O'Hara, John Updike and Harold Brodkey. Married Emily Gilman Noyes in 1945, who died July 23, 2000. They had two daughters, Katharine and Emily. Maxwell died July 31, 2000, at age 91.
Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The collection is open for research. Per agreement with the donor, correspondence from J.D. Salinger to William Maxwell and from William Maxwell to J.D. Salinger is sealed until February 9, 2032.
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Box and Folder Listing Browse by Series:
[Series 1: Correspondence, 1930-1998
[Series 2: Manuscripts, 1928-1997],
[Series 3: Books, 1917-2001