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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Wescott, Glenway 1901 - 1987

Definition: writer, b. April 11, 1901 in Kewaskum, Wisconsin; attended University of Chicago from 1917-1919, but left due to ill health; He traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, after recovering his health and published a book of poems, The Bitterns (1920). In 1921, he and his partner, writer Monroe Wheeler, traveled across Europe, funded, in part, by patrons. His first novel, The Apple of the Eye, was publishedin 1924. He and Wheeler move to Villefranche, France in 1926, settling in among an artisitic circle that included Isadora Duncan, Jean Cocteau, and Ford Madox Ford. His second work of fiction, The Grandmothers (1927), won the Harper Prize. Good-bye Wisconsin, a collection of short stories, was published in 1928. Several of his essays were published as Fear and Trembling in 1932. He moved back to the U.S. in 1935, setting up households on both a farm in New Jersey and in New York City. He began freelance work for the Museum of Modern Art which hired him as Membership Director in 1938 and later as Director of Publications and Exhibitions. He continued to write, publishing The Pilgrim Hawk (1940) and Apartment in Athens (1945), while also lecturing and serving as member and president of the National Institute and American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also began documenting his life and thoughts in a quasi-literary "journal" in 1938, which he devoted much of his later life to editing for publication. Excerpts were published after his death as Continual Lessons (1990). He died on February 22, 1987.

[Source: Glenway Wescott Papers, Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library]

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