Conversations with Robert Penn Warren
Edited by Gloria L. Cronin
Edited by Ben Siegel
Unjacketed cloth, $50.00
"There isn't much vital imagination, it seems to me, that doesn't come from some sort of shock, imbalance, need to 'relive,' redefine life."
Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) excelled in three written genres-fiction, poetry, and literary criticism-and is one of the few writers to be awarded Pulitzer Prizes for both his poetry and his fiction. With Cleanth Brooks, he inspired practitioners of New Criticism and revolutionized the way literature was taught and studied in the academy. His 1946 novel All the King's Men, a fictionalized account of Louisianan Huey P. Long's gubernatorial administration, remains the template for American political commentary in fiction. In 1985, Warren became the first U.S. Poet Laureate.
Conversations with Robert Penn Warren collects interviews ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s. Featuring interviews conducted by such writers and journalists as William Kennedy, Bill Moyers, C. Vann Woodward, and Roy Newquist, this collection's depth and focus are remarkable.
Warren's critical acumen is present in every piece here, as he talks forthrightly about literature's place in American culture, the role of history in his novels and poetry, and the contemporary events that raged during his lifetime. Conversations with Robert Penn Warren is a rewarding look at a man whose life and literary career spanned most of the twentieth century.
Gloria L. Cronin, Provo, Utah, professor of English at Brigham Young University, is the author of A Room of His Own: In Search of the Feminine in the Novels of Saul Bellow, Small Planets: Saul Bellow and the Art of Short Fiction, and other books. Ben Siegel, Claremont, California, is professor of English at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Among other works, he is the author of The Puritan Heritage: America's Roots in the Bible, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and the editor of The American Writer in the University.