Although West did not publish until she was 37, she was a prolific writer who finished 19 full-length works during her lifetime, including ten novels, four autobiographies, two short-story collections, a musical drama, a poetry collection, and a Quaker anthology. She also wrote, or co-wrote, the scripts for three major films, including The Friendly Persuasion, The Big Country, and Stolen Hours, as well as over one hundred stories and articles for periodicals and newspapers. Her best-known work, the novel The Friendly Persuasion, has been translated into 18 languages. All editions of the 27 separate publications by West and the two about her are given full descriptions. All other publications (contributions to books, periodicals, and newspapers; films and other non-print media; manuscripts; letters; photographs) receive briefer descriptions. Extensive cross-referencing ties together similar elements between her fiction and non-fiction and works about her.
A significant portion of the book describes the unpublished materials, almost all of which are in the Jessamyn West Collection at Whittier College: handwritten and typed drafts of her published work; unpublished manuscripts; correspondence; critiques from her editors; etc. The abundant wealth of material on Jessamyn West make this bibliography crucial to a complete understanding of her life and her written works.
Ann Dahlstrom Farmer (M.A., California State University-Fullerton) is Associate Professor of English at Whittier College. Philip M. O'Brien (Ph.D., USC) is College Librarian at Whittier College.
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