Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Barbara Burkhardt  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: April 28 in Springfield, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Barbara was born in Springfield and is an Associate Professor of English, University of Illinois at Springfield.

Biographical and Professional Information

Barbara is an assoicate professor of English and a University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Springfield. A close acquaintance of William Maxwell, she organized his correspondence for the Maxwell archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

William Maxwell: A Literary Life
ISBN: 0252075838

University of Illinois Press. 2008

Known as a beloved, longtime fiction editor at The New Yorker, William Maxwell worked closely with such legendary writers as Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Mary McCarthy, and John Cheever. His own novels include They Came Like Swallows and the American Book Award-winning So Long, See You Tomorrow, and many consider him to be one of the twentieth century's most important writers. Barbara Burkhardt's William Maxwell: A Literary Life represents the first major critical study of this Illinois writer's life and work.

Writing with an economy and elegance befitting her subject, Burkhardt addresses Maxwell's highly autobiographical fiction by skillfully interweaving his biography with her own critical interpretations. She contextualizes his fiction in terms of events including his mother's early death from influenza, his marriage, and the role of his psychoanalysis under the guidance of Theodor Reik. Drawing on a wide range of previously unavailable material, Burkhardt includes letters Maxwell received from authors such as Eudora Welty and Louise Bogan, excerpts from his unpublished manuscripts and correspondence, and her own interviews with Maxwell and key figures from his life, including John Updike, Roger Angell, New Yorker fiction editor Robert Henderson, and Maxwell's family and friends.

Conversations with William Maxwell (Literary Conversations Series)
ISBN: 1617032549

University Press of Mississippi. 2012

Conversations with William Maxwell collects thirty-eight interviews, public speeches, and remarks that span five decades of the esteemed novelist and New Yorker editor's career. The interviews collectively address the entirety of Maxwell's literary work--with in-depth discussion of his short stories, essays, and novels including They Came Like Swallows, The Folded Leaf, and the American Book award-winning So Long, See You Tomorrow--as well as his forty-year tenure as a fiction editor working with such luminaries as John Updike, John Cheever, Eudora Welty, Vladimir Nabokov, and J.D. Salinger. Maxwell's words spoken before a crowd, some previously unpublished, pay moving tribute to literary friends and mentors, and offer reflections on the artistic life, the process of writing, and his Midwestern heritage. All retain the reserved poignancy of his fiction. The volume publishes for the first time the full transcript of Maxwell's extensive interviews with his biographer and, in an introduction, correspondence with writers including Updike and Saul Bellow, which enlivens the stories behind his interviews and appearances.


Awards

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