Peter Taylor, 11th Annual ODU Literary Festival


Peter Taylor

Document Type

Featured Participant

Festival Date



Newport News Room, Webb Center; University Theatre

Author/Artist Bio

Peter Taylor is the author of two novels, A Woman of Means (1950) and A Summons to Memphis, which in 1986 won both the Pulitzer Prize and, in Paris, the $50,000 Ritz Hemingway prize for English Literature. Best known as a short story writer, he has published seven books of short stories, beginning with A Long Fourth and Other Stories (1948) and including The Old Forest and Other Stories, which won the P.E.N./Faulkner Award in 1986. Nine stories of his appeared in the annual Best American Short Stories, and six stories appeared in the O. Henry Prize collections. He has been described as "a Southern writer in the tradition of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor" and "one of the most accomplished short-story writers of our time." His work has also been described as "outwardly simple but psychologically complex and powerful, and under the surface of events in the regions he knows best the author discloses the universal longings of the human heart." As a dramatist, he is the author of Tennessee Day in St. Louis (1957), Presences: Seven Dramatic Pieces (1973) and A Stand in the Mountains (1985). In 1983 he retired from the University of Virginia, though he still divides his time between Charlottesville and Key West, Florida. In 1982 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Peter Taylor spoke on "The Creative Process" at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 6, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.

He also read from his fiction at 8 p.m. that evening in the University Theatre.


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