Vance Bourjaily

(b. 1922)

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Ohio-born writer, after service in World War II wrote The End of My Life (1947), a novel about a young man's collapse in the war, and The Hound of Earth (1954), about a scientist who runs away from his army job and his family after the bombing of Hiroshima. Bourjaily then became the editor of discovery, a distinguished departure in little magazines, and after its demise returned to fiction, writing The Violated (1958), a long novel of character analysis; Confessions of a Spent Youth (1960), about a young man's life and loves before, during, and after World War II; The Man Who Knew Kennedy (1967), treating the era of the President; Brill Among the Ruins (1970), depicting sociocultural turmoil of the 1960s as it affects a middle-aged man; Now Playing at Canterbury (1976), a kind of Canterbury Tales set in the U.S. of the '60s and '70s; and A Game Men Play (1980), a panoramic social history and adventure tale of the 20th century. The Unnatural Enemy (1963) and Country Matters (1973) are nonfictional works about rural life.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).

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