Author Archives: American Writers Museum

Remembering Carrie Fisher, the Writer

Much has been written about Carrie Fisher since her untimely death from a heart attack at the end of 2016. From tributes and retrospectives of her life to commentary on her importance in film history. Particularly for the science fiction genre as her most famous role, Princess Leia, brought a new perspective on how women could […]

Writing Out the Bad Stuff

Last summer someone gutted my new bike. Both wheels and the seat, gone. They left just the sad, lonely frame still locked to the bike rack, looking severely inadequate next to the other bikes. When I first came across it, I stopped walking and stared at it for a while, as if the wheels would […]

Friend or Foe: Writers and their Feuds

Friction among writers has all the earmarks of a good fiction story, but make no mistake; it does exist in real life. Writers have long been associated with harboring resentment over the success of their colleagues, especially when their work has not reached the same levels of popularity. Competition does not always occur on the […]

Faulkner’s Rowan Oak

Slipping through a cold metal turnstile, I enter Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s home in Oxford, Mississippi. The gatekeeper, an Ole Miss graduate student reading a worn-out Thomas Pynchon paperback and wearing leather sandals, accepts my $5 ticket and waves me through into the house. Rowan Oak, a primitive Greek revival house set on four acres […]

“Such Friends:” Maxwell Perkins and F. Scott Fitzgerald

By: Kathleen Dixon Donnelly Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins [1884-1947] and author F. Scott Fitzgerald [1896-1940] were born 12 years and thousands of miles apart. In my research into Perkins’ management style, I learned the details of the interesting story of how they were brought together. When Scott attended the Newman School in New Jersey, he […]

The Strange Sadness of Stephen King’s “It”

For the longest time, I told myself that I would never read any book written by Stephen King. To me, the majority of his work seemed too weird, too scary or something that was likely to give me nightmares. While I had seen movie adaptations of his less terrifying works such as The Shawshank Redemption […]

The Iconic Typewriter

If you have ever watched Madam Secretary on CBS and stayed tuned through the closing credits to the very end, you may have noticed the logo for the show’s production company. It appears for about a second and shows the name of the company, Barbara Hall Productions, in typescript within a pen and ink drawing […]

Willa Cather

I confess — I never liked Nebraska. When I moved from Chicago to Denver I drove several times on Interstate 80 which cuts through the flat state like a silver knife. Nebraska’s endless miles of emptiness, the monotony broken up now and then with cows, a lonely-looking farm house, rows of corn, made this city […]

Salinger at Princeton – Part 2

For the most dedicated Salingerites, much of the material in the collection is familiar, available in old copies of literary magazines from the 40’s – never republished, but nonetheless out there. However, the real jewels of the collection are the typewritten manuscripts for several unpublished works, including the legendary ‘The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls.’ […]