Illinois Authors

The Illinois Center for the Book banner

James Purdy

Born: 1914 in Hicksville, OH
Died: 2009 in Englewood, NJ

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Purdy attended the University of Chicago.

Biography: Born in Hicksville, Ohio, James Purdy was raised in Findlay, Ohio. His family moved there when he was about five years old. He attended Bowling Green State College (now Bowling Green State University), the University of Chicago and the University of Puebla in Mexico.While he was a gay man, Purdy consistently rejected identity politics and defining oneself according to one's sexuality.

  • -- PEN/Faulkner Award , ''On Glory's Course''

James Purdy on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

63, dream palace :
ISBN: 0876858442 OCLC: 24173737

Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa : 1991.

  Color of darkness :
ISBN: 4653014442 OCLC: 33090036

Rinsen Book, Kyoto : 1986.

Color of darkness :
ISBN: 0837178746 OCLC: 1095081

Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn. : 1975, ©1957.

Eustace Chisholm and the works
ISBN: 9780871409546 OCLC: 918305563

Eustace Chisholm and the works /
ISBN: 0786715022 OCLC: 346182

Depiction of the strange world of a small group of Americans in Chicago during the depression.

Garments the living wear /
ISBN: 0872862399 OCLC: 19922747

City Lights Books, San Francisco : 1989.

I am Elijah Thrush /
ISBN: 0854490124 OCLC: 13763089

GMP, London : 1986, ©1972.

In a shallow grave /
ISBN: 0872862348 OCLC: 18052482

City Lights Books ; San Francisco : 1988.

Moe's villa & other stories /
ISBN: 0786714174 OCLC: 56472934

Carroll & Graf, New York : 2004.

The author's first short story collection in ten years introduces twelve new stories, including one about an opera diva whose career is managed by her talking cat and another chronicling the bizarre journey of a man whose obsession with his unfaithful wife leads him into an even stranger obsession over a rare bird.

Narrow rooms /
ISBN: 0907040578 OCLC: 12519303

GMP, London : 1985.

"Released from a prison sentence for manslaughter, Sidney returns home to West Virginia, where, in order to exorcise the memory of the lover he killed, he must keep his appointment with destiny in the shape of the man known as "the Renderer." A shattering and powerful novel of sexual passion among four men in the remote Appalachians, and a journey into the dark night of the American soul."--Back cover.

  On glory's course /
ISBN: 0140076298 OCLC: 11159504

Penguin Books, New York : 1985.

The candles of your eyes and thirteen other stories /
ISBN: 0872862569 OCLC: 23253157

City Lights, San Francisco : 1991.

The complete short stories of James Purdy
ISBN: 9780871406699 OCLC: 841198186

The publication of The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy is a literary event that marks the first time all of James Purdy's short stories--fifty-six in number, including seven drawn from his unpublished archives--have been collected in a single volume. As prolific as he was unclassifiable, James Purdy was considered one of the greatest--and most underappreciated--writers in America in the latter half of the twentieth century. Championed by writers as diverse as Dame Edith Sitwell, Gore Vidal, Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams, Carl Van Vechten, John Cowper Powys, and Dorothy Parker, Purdy's vast body of work has heretofore been relegated to the avant-garde fringes of the American literary mainstream.