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Joan Mellen

41xHh8DAP9LKay Boyle: Author of Herself 1st edition by Mellen, Joan (1994)

In her long, prolific, and tumultuous career, Kay Boyle (1902-92) published more than thirty volumes of fiction and poetry to awards and acclamations, always mining a rich vein of autobiography and innovation. Her reputation, however, has only recently begun to reemerge from the long shadow cast over it by her struggle against McCarthyism, returning to American letters some of the most vigorous writing of this century. In Joan Mellen’s groundbreaking and provocative biography of Kay Boyle – the first ever – the full sweep of her remarkable life is revealed. As the golden girl of expatriate Paris, Kay Boyle included among her friends James Joyce, Hart Crane, Marcel Duchamp, Picabia, Brancusi, and Archibald MacLeish. A literary figure in her own right, she became one of the most important contributors to the seminal magazine transition, virtually invented what came to be known as The New Yorker story, and was awarded two O. Henry Prizes for her short fiction. Kay Boyle took lovers, bore them children, and married three times. She struggled against fascism in Austria and on behalf of the Resistance in France, and in her seventh decade went to prison for her opposition to the Vietnam War. Kay Boyle: Author of Herself is a rare look at one of the finest writers of this American century, and at a woman who was independent, self-sufficient, and self-directed, long before these categories were acknowledged, let alone approved. Kay Boyle’s was a life rich in purpose, in love, and in work.

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