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LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN, A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, [AND] SHORTER FICTION

Agee, James

Published by Library of America, New York, 2005
ISBN 10: 1931082812 / ISBN 13: 9781931082815
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Bibliographic Details


Title: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN, A DEATH IN THE...

Publisher: Library of America, New York

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: fine

Edition: First printing.

Description:

Edited, and with Notes, by Michael Sragow. Sm 8vo. Brown cloth, with gilt spine titles. Decorated end papers. 818 pages, with Chronology and Notes on the Texts. With Walker Evans b/w photographic images. No names or marks. A crisp, as new copy of the first printing of the Library of America edition. Bookseller Inventory # 2620

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Synopsis: A passionate literary innovator, eloquent in language and uncompromising in his social observation and his pursuit of emotional truth, James Agee (1909- 1955) excelled as novelist, critic, journalist, and screenwriter. In his brief, often turbulent life, he left enduring evidence of his unwavering intensity, observant eye, and sometimes savage wit.

This volume collects his fiction along with his extraordinary experiment in what might be called prophetic journalism, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), a collaboration with photographer Walker Evans that began as an assignment from Fortune magazine to report on the lives of Alabama sharecroppers, and that expanded into a vast and unique mix of reporting, poetic meditation, and anguished self-revelation that Agee described as "an effort in human actuality." A 64-page photo insert reproduces Evans's now iconic photographs from the expanded 1960 edition.

A Death in the Family, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that he worked on for over a decade and that was published posthumously in 1957, re-creates in stunningly evocative prose Agee's childhood in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the upheaval his family experienced after his father's death in a car accident when Agee was six years old. A whole world, with its sensory vividness and social constraints, comes to life in this child's-eye view of a few catastrophic days. It is presented here for the first time in a text with corrections based on Agee's manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.

This volume also includes The Morning Watch (1951), an autobiographical novella that reflects Agee's deep involvement with religious questions, and three short stories including the remarkable allegory "A Mother's Tale."

From the Back Cover: James Agee was a writer of singular intensity and extraordinary gifts: compassionate, angry, provocative, and superbly inventive. This volume collects his two prose masterpieces along with other fiction. In Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Agee invented a new genre to convey his stark vision of the lives of Alabama tenant farmers; a 64-page photo insert reproduces Walker Evans's now iconic photographs from the expanded 1960 edition. In A Death in the Family, his great autobiographical novel presented here for the first time in a newly corrected text, he confronts in intimate emotional detail the impact of his father's death. To these works are added his novella The Morning Watch and three remarkable stories.

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