Richard Yates Up Close

The Writer and His Works

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About the Book

Richard Yates has been referred to as America’s least known great writer. Today Yates is known primarily for the novel Revolutionary Road, considered by many critics as the greatest American novel of the second half of the twentieth century. This critical study examines the life and work of Yates by placing his body of work in both cultural and personal context. Topics covered include the writing of his major novels, homosexuality, his role as a critic, and his relationship with Hollywood. This text divulges new details about his life and offers a thorough analysis of unpublished materials from the Richard Yates archives at Boston University.

About the Author(s)

Martin Naparsteck has published two novels, a collection of short stories, and a book of writing advice. He writes fulltime and lives in Rochester, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Martin Naparsteck
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 203
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6059-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8646-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1
Introduction: Appreciating Richard Yates      5

1. The Autobiographical Nature of Yates’s Fiction      15
ORDER OF OCCURRENCE      24
RICHARD YATES: A NONFICTION BIOGRAPHY      25
2. The Inevitability of Unhappiness: Revolutionary Road      30
YATES AND HOLLYWOOD      39
3. The Lies of Richard Yates: Eleven Kinds of Loneliness      51
4. War Interrupted: A Special Providence      62
RETHINKING A NEAR CLASSIC      74
5. The Depths of Transition: Disturbing the Peace      80
AT THE CROSSROADS WITH DICK YATES      86
6. The Possibilities of Redemption: The Easter Parade      95
YATES AND HOMOSEXUALITY      103
7. Static and Memory: A Good School      106
THE PERFECT GAME      112
8. Cruelty and Optimism: Liars in Love      116
9. The Artist Ages: Young Hearts Crying      128
THE CRITIC      134
10. Hope for the Youngest: Cold Spring Harbor      138
UNCERTAIN TIMES      144
11. The Collected Stories      152
THE UNCOLLECTED STORIES      159
12. Rethinking Richard Yates      163

Appendix 1: Lie Down in Darkness      167
Appendix 2: Alternative Yates      169
Appendix 3: “The World on Fire”      173
Chapter Notes      175
Bibliography      185
Index      191