Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Another James Purdy Update

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 7, 2009

Our recent post on the death of locally-connected novelist James Purdy has elicited the following from Michael Snyder, a doctoral candidate in the University of Oklahoma’s Department of English, who is finishing a dissertation on Purdy.

To offer a few of points of clarity: Purdy was born not in Findlay but in Hicksville, Ohio, in Defiance County, on July 17, 1914. He was largely raised in Findlay. Also, he died in a nursing home in Englewood, NJ. His home for fifty years was his apartment on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, NY. Finally, The Nephew was published in 1960, not 1961. He graduated from BGSU in 1935 with a teaching degree in French, and a second degree in another subject, probably English. Paul Miller’s entry on Purdy for the Dictionary of Midwestern Literature is a good source of relevant biographical information, and I have corroborated all his information. BGSU English professor Frank Baldanza published three articles on Purdy and Baldanza’s correspondence with Purdy can be found in the BGSU Special Collections. The BGSU library has a great collection of Purdy’s books. I hope to hear from people with stories about Purdy and his impact on the community. mkesnyder@yahoo.com

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