Individual Author Record
Name: James MellowPen Name: James R. Mellow Genre: Born: Gloucester, Massachusetts Sites:
Illinois ConnectionMellow graduated from Northwestern University in 1950.
Biographical and Professional InformationJames R. Mellow was a writer, editor, art critic, and acclaimed biographer. He wrote a sequence of books that detailed the study of a major episode in American cultural history - Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein & Company, Invented Lives: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences. His biography of Nathanial Hawthorne, won the National Book Award in 1983. Mellow also wrote for The New York Times, Architectural Digest, The Washington Post, Gourmet, and Arts magazine, among other publications. Before his death in 1997, James Mellow had one unfinished manuscript on the life of American photographer Walker Evans which was published posthumously.
- Charmed Circle, Gertrude Stein & Company, Avon, 1975
- Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times, Houghton Mifflin, 1980
- Invented Lives: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Houghton Mifflin, 1984
- Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences, Da Capo Press, 1993
- Walker Evans, Basic Books, 1999
Titles At Your Library
Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein and Company
ISBN: 0805073515 Henry Holt and Co.. 2003
Avant-garde Paris comes to life in this “meticulous and loving reconstruction of the period” (The New York Times Book Review)
On almost every Saturday of the first half of the twentieth century, Gertrude Stein would open her door to the likes of Picasso and Matisse, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Cocteau and Apollinaire, welcoming them into a salon alive with vivid avant-garde paintings and sparkling intellectual conversation. In Charmed Circle, James R. Mellow has re-created this fascinating world and the complex woman who dominated it. His engaging narrative illuminates Stein’s writing—now celebrated along with the work of such literary giants as Joyce and Woolf—including her difficult early periods, which adapted cubism and abstraction to the written word. Rich with detail and insight, it conveys both the serene rhythms of daily life with her devoted partner, Alice B. Toklas, and the radical pulse and dramatic upheavals of her exciting era.
Spanning the years from 1903, when Stein first arrived in Paris, to her final days at the end of the Second World War, Charmed Circle is a penetrating and lively account of a writer at the heart of modernity.
Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times
ISBN: 0395276020 Houghton Mifflin. 1980 A full-length portrait of one of America's great writers brings to life Hawthorne's experiences and the age he lived in, detailing his courtship of Sophia Peabody and his relationships with Melville, Poe, Emerson, and others
ISBN: 0345329120 Ballantine Books. 1986 Reconstructs the events in the marriage of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and analyzes the legend of the Fitzgeralds in terms of the era and society in which they lived
Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences
ISBN: 0201626209 Da Capo Press. 1993
In this brilliant, elegantly written biography, award-winning author James R. Mellow offers a thorough reassessment of a man who was both a literary giant and an icon for his age. The final volume in Mellow's ”Lost Generation” trilogy, Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences is also a homage to Paris in the 1920s and a tribute to the writers and artists who set the indelible standards for the modern age.
ISBN: 046509077X Basic Books. 1999
Walker Evans (19031975) is best known as one of the leading documentary photographers of the Depression Era, and for his photographs of Alabama sharecroppers in James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. His FSA photographs have become icons in the American consciousness, and are perhaps the most influential body of photographic work in this century.But Evans was not the propagandist for social causes he was presumed to be he was, instead, a fastidious observer, recording, simply, the way things were. His instinctive aversion to artiness” contrasted him sharply from his senior Alfred Stieglitz, and his immediate contemporary, Ansel Adams. Evans' eye took him toward the dusty particulars, the backroads of American life, its rundown mill towns, roadside stands, torn movie posters and advertisements for departed minstrel shows. He developed a peculiarly American vernacular, his particular trademark that makes an Evans photograph almost instantly recognizable.With unrestricted access to all of Evans' diaries, letters, work logs and contact sheets, James R. Mellow has produced one of the most finely wrought portraits of a major American artist ever. Also, it is a deeply informed cultural history of the 1930s and '40s and a lively account of friendships and influences with the likes of Lincoln Kirstein and James Agee.