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J. F. Powers (1917–1999)

Forfatter af Morte d'Urban

38+ Works 1,403 Members 17 Reviews 3 Favorited

Om forfatteren

James Farl Powers (July 8, 1917 - June 12, 1999) was a Roman Catholic American novelist and short-story writer who often drew his inspiration from developments in the Catholic Church, and was known for his studies of Catholic priests in the Midwest, although he was not a priest himself. He was born vis mere in Jacksonville, Illinois to a devout Catholic family, and graduated from Quincy College Academy, a Franciscan high school. He took English and philosophy courses at Wright Junior College and at Northwestern University in Chicago, but did not earn a degree. Powers was a conscientious objector during World War II, and went to prison for it. His book Prince of Darkness and Other Stories appeared in 1947. His story "The Valiant Woman" received the O. Henry Award in 1947. The Presence of Grace (1956) was also a collection of short stories. His first novel was Morte d'Urban (1962), which won the 1963 National Book Award for Fiction. Powers died on June 12, 1999. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Omfatter også følgende navne: J.F. Power, POWERS J. F., J. F. Powers

Værker af J. F. Powers

Morte d'Urban (1962) 558 eksemplarer
The Stories of J.F. Powers (1999) 224 eksemplarer
The Presence of Grace (1969) 48 eksemplarer
Look How the Fish Live (1975) 39 eksemplarer
The Old Bird, A Love Story (1991) 3 eksemplarer
A Losing Game 2 eksemplarer
Bill 1 eksemplar
Tinkers 1 eksemplar
Pharisees 1 eksemplar
Farewell 1 eksemplar
Priestly Fellowship 1 eksemplar
Moonshot 1 eksemplar
Keystone 1 eksemplar
Folks 1 eksemplar
Blue Island 1 eksemplar
Zeal 1 eksemplar
The Valiant Woman 1 eksemplar
The Lord's Day 1 eksemplar
Dawn 1 eksemplar
The Trouble 1 eksemplar
The Eye 1 eksemplar
Renner 1 eksemplar
The Forks 1 eksemplar
The Poor Thing 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories of the Century (2000) — Bidragyder — 1,533 eksemplarer
Short Story Masterpieces (1954) — Bidragyder — 659 eksemplarer
Baseball: A Literary Anthology (2002) — Bidragyder — 329 eksemplarer
The Treasury of American Short Stories (1981) — Bidragyder — 265 eksemplarer
The Big New Yorker Book of Cats (2013) — Bidragyder — 122 eksemplarer
Baseball's Best Short Stories (1995) — Bidragyder — 77 eksemplarer
Stories from The New Yorker, 1950 to 1960 (1958) — Bidragyder — 68 eksemplarer
Art of Fiction (1967) — Bidragyder — 50 eksemplarer
The Experience of the American Woman (1978) — Bidragyder — 47 eksemplarer
Hot and Cool: Jazz Short Stories (1990) — Bidragyder — 30 eksemplarer
American short stories, 1820 to the present (1952) — Bidragyder — 26 eksemplarer
Studies in Fiction (1965) — Bidragyder — 22 eksemplarer
The Best American Short Stories 1944 (1944) — Bidragyder — 18 eksemplarer
Cat Encounters: A Cat-Lover's Anthology (1979) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer
The best of the Best American short stories, 1915-1950 (1975) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer
The Best American Short Stories 1947 (1947) — Bidragyder — 7 eksemplarer
The Best American Short Stories 1951 (1951) — Bidragyder — 6 eksemplarer
American Review #23 (1975) — Bidragyder — 4 eksemplarer
Strange Barriers (1955) — Bidragyder — 2 eksemplarer

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I have read both of JF Powers' novels and all (I think) of his short stories. In fact I remember seeing his first book of stories, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, in a paperback rack in the vestibule of our Catholic church when I was a boy back the 1950s. I read MORTE D'URBAN in college in the late sixties and have read it a few more times since then. I was very pleased to see all of his work back in print from NYRB Press a few years back, and even purchased those editions of WHEAT THAT SPRINGETH GREEN and COLLECTED STORIES - and read them again. So I think its safe to say I am a longtime fan.

Since Powers only published five books, I was really looking forward to finally reading SUITABLE ACCOMMODATIONS, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY OF FAMILY LIFE: THE LETTERS OF J.F. POWERS, 1942-1963 (2013), collected and edited by his daughter, Katherine A. Powers (named, incidentally, for author Katherine Ann Porter). Sadly, I found it to be a disappointment, and almost wish I hadn't read it. Some of the early letters were written from prison. Powers was incarcerated for more than a year during the war for ignoring his draft notice after his bid for conscientious objector status was refused. Upon his parole, he was forced to work as a hospital orderly for a time.

Powers' later letters do display his determination to earn a living by his writing, a goal he never quite properly achieved, living on the edge of poverty and taking loans and charity from his in-laws and friends throughout his life. I felt sorry for his long-suffering wife, Betty, who bore most of the burdens of their ever-expanding family (five children) and multiple moves into shoddy rentals around Minnesota as well as overseas to Ireland and back (at least twice). What I found most annoying in the letters was ample evidence of what seemed to be laziness, entitlement, and a lack of discipline about his writing as well as a steady stream of complaining, whining even, about his life. And even some begging, wheedling letters to his clergy friends, asking for "loans" he would never repay. And all this in spite of the fact that he was offered multiple decent-paying jobs at various colleges and universities, which he turned down.

I kept reading the letters because I assumed things would change for the better for Powers and his family when MORTE D'URBAN won the NBA in 1963. Nope. The thousand dollar prize didn't go far for the financially strapped family of seven, and Powers' lack of discipline in his craft failed to capitalize on his newfound "fame."

Powers lived until 1999, but only published two more books after that NBA.

So, despite all the 'cleverness' often on display in the letters, I found myself disliking the man behind the books and stories I have so long admired. He is too self-centered too lazy, too selfish. But his books remain. And they are priceless in their portrayals of Catholic parish life in the mid-twentieth century. These letters? Nope.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
… (mere)
TimBazzett | Aug 13, 2022 |
Devotion to faith, idealism and the sublime give way, over the course of a priest’s childhood through middle age, to a realization that service, duty and fellowship are not necessarily obstacles or hurdles, but rather can be the same pursuit.

Dryly funny and obviously written from the point of view of someone greatly irritated by - but with great love for - his fellow man.

Popple_Vuh | 5 andre anmeldelser | Oct 24, 2021 |
stravinsky | 5 andre anmeldelser | Dec 28, 2020 |
Powers' second and final novel, and much better than his pretty damn good Morte D'Durban. Wheat took forever to write, which is usually a very bad thing, but in this case Powers somehow makes it work, perhaps because the usual late style stuff (pessimism, grouchiness and so on) fits so well with the late stages of this book. Father Hackett watches his small world change with good humor and dismay; he might not admit it, but it's fairly clear that he himself is just as much to blame for those changes as anyone. The Walmart-style store takes over from the old mall, and takes over from the church as well. Everything centers more and more on money--which is precisely what Hackett's life has centered on. And his final pilgrimage is a beautiful end to the novel. As with all of Powers' work, it's exceptionally well written, funny and affecting. Is it innovative? No. Is it formally interesting? Not in the slightest. But it's exceptionally well done for all that.… (mere)
stillatim | 5 andre anmeldelser | Oct 23, 2020 |



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