This volume brings to broader notice a writer who, though long acclaimed by critics, has received far too little attention from the public. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, two PEN American Center awards, an O. Henry Award, a Ritz Hemingway Award, and numerous fellowships, Peter Taylor surely merits such attention for his contribution to American literature.
This book contains twelve essays by scholars and critics, four reminiscences, and a recent interview with Taylor. Some of the pieces presented here grew out of a symposium on Peter Taylor sponsored by Essex Community College in April 1991; others were solicited especially for this volume. Of both scholarly and general interest, this first book-length collection of original essays on Peter Taylor should stimulate interest, encourage critical attention, and lay a foundation for further study.
Contributors include Albert J. Griffith, author of the Twayne Series volume on Taylor, novelist Ann Beattie, editor and writer Elizabeth Hardwick, and such established scholars as Hubert McAlexander. New voices, such as those of Christopher Metress, who recently completed a dissertation on Taylor, and David Robinson, author of a forthcoming study of Taylor, are also heard. Several former students of Taylor and renowned scholar Cleanth Brooks, once Taylor's teacher, provide the series of reminiscences.
In the interview, Taylor articulates his aesthetic theories, comments on The Oracle of Stoneleigh Court, and discusses his works in progress. Most intriguing is the revelation that, at age 77, the man novelist Anne Tyler called "the undisputed master of the short story form" is at work on major new fiction.