Kay Boyle Collection
Includes 6-page transcript from Kay Boyle's Senate loyalty hearings during the McCarthy era; manuscript draft of a letter from Boyle to Samuel Beckett (2 sheets); two letters from Kenneth Burke to Boyle (including one with photocopied letter from Mona Van Duyn to Burke on verso); one letter from Evan Connell to Boyle; and one letter from Alexandra Pringle at Virago Press in London to Boyle (with Boyle's manuscript annotations).
- Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.
Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.
If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)
Kay Boyle (February 19, 1902 – December 27, 1992) was an American writer, educator, and political activist. Boyle studied architecture at the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati. Interested in the arts, she studied violin at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music before settling in New York City in 1922 where she found work as a writer/editor with a small magazine.
While living in France, Boyle published her first work of fiction, a collection titled Short Stories. A poet as well as a novelist, her early writings often reflected her lifelong search for true love as well as her interest in the power relationships between men and women. In 1936, she wrote a novel titled Death of a Man, an attack on the growing threat of Nazism. After having lived in France, Austria, England, and in Germany after World War II, Boyle returned to the United States.
In the States, Boyle and her third husband were victims of early 1950s McCarthyism. Boyle lost her position as foreign correspondent for The New Yorker, a post she had held for six years. She was blacklisted by most of the major magazines. During this period, her life and writing became increasingly political.
Boyle was a writer in residence at the New York City Writer's Conference at Wagner College in 1962. In 1963, she accepted a creative writing position on the faculty of San Francisco State College, where she remained until 1979. During this period she became heavily involved in political activism. In her later years, she became an active supporter of Amnesty International and worked for the NAACP. After retiring from San Francisco State College, Boyle held several writer-in-residence positions for brief periods of time.
In her lifetime Kay Boyle published more than 40 books, including 14 novels, eight volumes of poetry, 11 collections of short fiction, three children's books, and French to English translations and essays. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, in addition to her two O. Henry Awards, she received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was given a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Source of Acquisition
Accession number 17860. Purchase from Charles Apfelbaum Rare Books and Collections
- Kay Boyle Collection
- Description rules
- Language of description
- 2021 March 19: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.
Collecting Area Details
Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis MO 63130 US