Max and Marjorie: The Correspondence between Maxwell E. Perkins and Marjorie Kinnan Rawl / Edition 1by Rodger L. Tarr, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Pub. Date: 09/30/1999
Publisher: University Press of Florida
"A treasure for anyone interested in how Max Perkins earned his reputation as the most gifted editor of all time by his sheer talent for friendship, encouragement, and sound judgment mixed with humor and tact. It equally reveals the grit and wit of his Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Their lively letters offer rare and engaging glimpses into the anatomy--and
"A treasure for anyone interested in how Max Perkins earned his reputation as the most gifted editor of all time by his sheer talent for friendship, encouragement, and sound judgment mixed with humor and tact. It equally reveals the grit and wit of his Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Their lively letters offer rare and engaging glimpses into the anatomy--and alchemy--of a bestseller and masterpiece."--Charles Scribner III
"What a pleasure to read such gracious, literate, intimate and affectionate correspondence between an editor and an author. This, one can't help feeling, is the way it ought to be."--Michael Korda, author of Another Life
"A wonderful illustration of the special relationship between author and editor that even today still lies at the heart of publishing. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was a strong and valiant character, a major talent with all the doubts and difficulties that go along with it. In Max Perkins she found a receptive spirit whose good counsel engendered confidence and abiding trust; over time, a deep friendship evolved. Watching the delicate, enduring organism of their partnership grow is both heartening and inspiring."--Jonathan Galassi, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
This compelling collection of letters brings together for the first time the entire known correspondence--nearly 700 letters, notes, and wires--of the preeminent 20th-century American editor and his Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
While the letters reveal an intimate portrait of the literary and personal friendship of Maxwell Perkins and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, they also constitute a remarkable history of the Scribner publishing house from 1930 to 1947, when Perkins died. Rawlings, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 for The Yearling, was one of Scribner's stars in an era when publishing was difficult for women writers. Perkins was her champion, offering editorial opinion, a week-by-week critique of her work, and candid gossip about other writers he nurtured, most notably Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe.
Perkins and Rawlings brought magic to their correspondence. Though four years passed before they used each other’s first name, their attraction was immediate and mutual: they shared a sense of humor, concerns about health, discreet details about their marriages, a weakness for the bottle, and, at times, agonizing fits of despair. She sent him oranges from her citrus grove in north central Florida; he mailed her a steady supply of the stimulating nonfiction she loved to read while writing novels.
Rawlings wrote not just to Perkins but for him. He responded--to both her life and her work--with wisdom, clarity, and generosity. The correspondence of these two superb letter writers presents an eloquent artifact of a rare literary partnership.
Rodger L. Tarr, University Distinguished Professor at Illinois State University, is the editor of Short Stories by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (UPF, 1994), Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: A Descriptive Bibliography (Pittsburgh, 1996), and Poems by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: Songs of a Housewife (UPF, 1997).
- University Press of Florida
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