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Guide to the Padgett Powell Papers, 1972-2009

Abstract

Author and professor at the University of Florida. Published works include Edisto, A Woman Named Drown, Typical, Mrs. Hollingsworth's Men, and The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?.

Collection includes writings and drafts of Powell's early novels, including Edisto and A Woman Named Drown, as well as essays, short stories, and articles for popular magazines and literary anthologies. Some of these appear in Typical, a collection of Powell's short stories. The collection also includes correspondence, publishing contracts, reviews, interviews, and travel files, many relating to the publication of Edisto.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Powell, Padgett.
Title
Padgett Powell papers 1972-2009
Language of Material
English
Extent
10 Linear Feet, 7500 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Padgett Powell Papers contains 4 series: Writings, Professional Materials, Correspondence, and Oversize Materials. The majority of the collection lies in the Writings Series, which includes drafts and publishing materials from Powell's books Edisto, A Woman Named Drown, Typical, and The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?. The Writings Series also has a large run of Powell's "General Writings," which includes essays and articles for various publications, travel pieces, short stories (some of which later appeared in Typical), and other drafts. These files may include multiple versions of the text, as well as correspondence with the piece's publisher.

Additional correspondence can be found in the Correspondence Series, which includes Powell's communications with editors, publishers, awards committees, and various literary figures. This series has been arranged to reflect Powell's initial arrangement: general and literary correspondence has been filed first, followed by an alphabetized subject and name file. Dates are included when known.

The collection's Professional Materials include both travel files, interview files, and some of Powell's academic work and records from his student days at the College of Charleston and at the University of Houston. The Oversize Materials series includes miscellaneous objects, usually related to publicizing or advertising Powell's readings or books.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is restricted.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

The majority of the collection lies in the Writings Series, which includes drafts and publishing materials from Powell's books Edisto, A Woman Named Drown, Typical, and The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?. The Writings Series also has a large run of Powell's "General Writings," which includes essays and articles for various publications, travel pieces, short stories (some of which later appeared in Typical), and other drafts. These files may include multiple versions of the text, as well as correspondence with the piece's publisher.

Materials relating to Edisto include early drafts of the book; correspondence and drafts from its excerption in The New Yorker; several revised galleys and proofs; "scraps" and "dead matter" leftover from the book's publication; foreign edition contracts; reviews; and screenplay versions of the text.

Masters' Thesis, University of Houston, December 1982
Box 1
Early drafts with revisions
(2 folders)
Box 1
Pat Strachan working manuscript and galleys
Box 1
Longhand drafts, undated
(2 folders)
Box 2
Draft, undated
Box 2
"Scraps" of draft
Box 2
Preface draft
Box 2
Farrar Straus and Giroux (FS&G) contract, 1983
Box 2
New Yorker proofs, 1983-1984
Box 2
New Yorker proofs, 1983-1984
Box 3
New Yorker original manuscript
Box 3
New Yorker published excerpt, 1983
Box 3
Page proofs
Box 3
"Dead matter"
Box 3
3 chapters, longhand draft
Box 3
Correspondence with FS&G, 1984
Box 3
Advertisements
Box 3
Book of the Month Club
Box 3
Braille edition
Box 3
Finnish edition
Box 3
French edition
Box 4
German edition
Box 4
Hebrew edition
Box 4
Italian edition
Box 4
Japan edition
Box 4
Paperback (Owl) edition
Box 4
Spanish edition
Box 4
Swedish edition
Box 4
UK edition
Box 4
Fan mail, 1983-1985
Box 4
Academic reviews
Box 4
Reviews and press
(3 folders)
Box 4
Published reviews and articles, 1984-1985
Box 4
MGM/UA, 1984
Box 5
Screenplay draft
Box 5
Screenplay, Lonner, David, 1985-1992
Box 5
Clippings re: film
Box 5
Sundance, 1986
Box 5
MacGill's Literary Annual, 1985
Box 5

Materials from A Woman Named Drown include drafts and revisions, including a series labeled by Powell as A-S; "dead matter" and other excerpts from the text; foreign edition correspondence; and reviews and fan mail.

Drafts and manuscripts, undated
(3 folders)
Box 5
Drafts, undated, and correspondence, 1986
Box 6
Early drafts, 1986
Box 6
"Dead matter"
Box 6
Final longhand draft
Box 6
Drafts, A-S, 1986
(5 folders)
Box 6
Draft with text notes and edits
Box 6
Draft excerpts
Box 7
Draft
Box 7
Reading copy draft
Box 7
Cover, cat., flap, etc.
Box 7
Blurb, 1987
Box 7
Holt (paperback) edition
Box 7
French edition
Box 7
German edition
Box 7
Portuguese editions (Drown and Edisto)
Box 7
Swedish edition
Box 7
Fan mail, 1987
Box 7
Reviews (2 folders)
Box 7

Materials relating to the publication of Typical, including various drafts of different stories, proofs and edits, reviews, and some fan mail. There are other versions of stories appearing in Typical in the General Writings subseries, described below.

Drafts of stories
Box 8
Mr. and Mrs. Elliot and Cleveland draft
Box 8
Collection drafts
Box 8
"Dead matter," 1992
Box 8
Proofs with edits
(2 folders)
Box 8
Gallery proofs with edits, February 1992
(2 folders)
Box 8
Galley proofs with edits (legal size)
Box 10
Master pages with edits (legal size)
Box 10
Galleys and edits (legal size)
Box 10
Reviews
(2 folders)
Box 11
Fan mail
Box 11
German edition
Box 11
Reprints-BOMB/USIS
Box 11

This subseries includes only copyedited drafts and proofs from the publication of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?.

2008 version
Box 11
Early draft with edits
Box 11
Master: first pass
(2 folders)
Box 11
Master: first pass
Box 12
Author's second pass
(2 folders)
Box 12
Copyedited draft
Box 12

The General Writings subseries includes drafts of articles, essays, short stories, and other writings by Powell for a wide variety of audiences, including newspapers, popular magazines, and anthologies. Some of these files include early drafts; others include published versions and accompanying correspondence between Powell and the publisher. Some writings are filed by publisher rather than by title; these distinctions were originally made by Powell and have been maintained during archival processing. Also included in this subseries are versions of short stories that later appeared in Typical, Powell's own collection of short stories.

The Allure of Southern Women, GQ
Box 12
Anthology appearances, 1990-1992
Box 12
Atlanta Constitution Weekly
Box 12
Barthleme tribute
Box 13
Biltmore, New York Times, 1991
(3 folders)
Box 13
Book reviews
Box 13
Fear and Infinitude
Box 13
Fishing in the Modern World
Box 13
Flood
Box 13
Frog and Spode
Box 13
Grading the Old Man
Box 13
Grinace
Box 13
high Trash
Box 13
Hitting Back
Box 13
Hitting Back
(3 folders)
Box 14
Home and Garden, Dec. 1991
Box 14
Humpy
(2 folders)
Box 14
Kansas
Box 14
Lebove and Son
Box 14
Letter From a Dogfighter's Aunt, Deceased
Box 14
Modern Italian
Box 14
Mr. and Mrs. Elliot and Cleveland
Box 14
Mr. Irony
Box 14
Mr. Irony
(2 folders)
Box 15
Mr. Nefarious
Box 15
New Orleans, New York Times, 1992
Box 15
New York Times Book Review, 1985
Box 15
South Carolina/Mr. Desultory
Box 15
Southern Living 25th Anniversary
Box 15
Thompson, Sandra; St. Pete
Box 15
Ted Turner
Box 15
Typical
Box 15
USA Today, 1985
Box 15
Wayne II and III
Box 15
Wheat Tour
Box 15
Winnowing of Mrs. Schuping
Box 15
Winnowing of Mrs. Schuping
Box 16
Untitled or loose drafts, 1970s
(4 folders)
Box 16
"Scraps and scrappy letters"
Box 16
Blues
Box 16
Introductions
Box 16
"Juvenilia"
Box 16
Darling, by William Tester, December 1990
Box 20
Darling, by William Tester, December 1990
Box 21
Show Me the Way To Go Home, by Simmons Jones, 1991
Box 21

The collection's Professional Materials include both travel files, interview files, and some of Powell's academic work and records from his student days at the College of Charleston and at the University of Houston.

Travel files, 1984-1989
Box 16
Travel files, 1989-1993
Box 17
Interviews, 1985-1987
(2 folders)
Box 17
Interviews, 1986-1993
Box 18
College of Charleston Moulin Rouge issues, 1972
Box 18
Academic records
Box 18
University of Houston work, 1981-1982
Box 18
Clippings about Powell, 1980s
Box 21
Magazines with published articles or works, 1984-1992
(4 folders)
Box 21

Additional correspondence can be found in the Correspondence Series, which includes Powell's communications with editors, publishers, awards committees, and various literary figures. This series has been arranged to reflect Powell's initial arrangement: general and literary correspondence has been filed first, followed by an alphabetized subject and name file. Dates are included when known.

General, 1983-1985
(2 folders)
Box 18
Literary, 1985-1987
(3 folders)
Box 18
Literary, 1988-1992
(3 folders)
Box 19
AAIAL Rome Fellowship, 1986-1987
Box 19
American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1987
Box 19
American Book Awards, 1984
Box 19
Anthologies/reprints
Box 19
Author's Guild, 1980s
Box 19
Awards
Box 19
Ballet Met, 1988
Box 19
Bellow, Saul, 1992-1993
Box 19
Booksellers, 1985
Box 19
Buckley catalog, 1984
Box 19
Dunaway, Lynch - film, 1988
Box 19
Esquire, 1985-1986
Box 19
Fan mail, 1985
Box 19
FS&G, 1985-1991
(3 folders)
Box 19
Fulbright/Walsh
Box 19
Gambone, Philip, 1985
Box 19
Guggenheim
Box 19
Harper's, 1989-1990
Box 19
ICM and Lynn Nesbit, 1982-1986
(2 folders)
Box 20
Janklow and Nesbit Associates, 1989-1990
Box 20
Merchant, Larry
Box 20
Murphy, Daniel, 1992
Box 20
Nan, undated
Box 20
NEA
Box 20
New Yorker, 1980-1991
Box 20
Poulouse, Pamela
Box 20
Professorship applications, 1985-1989
Box 20
Rogers, Bill, 1985
Box 20
Rolling Stone, 1989
Box 20
Roman dispatches, 1988
Box 20
Small, Adrienne, 1992
Box 20
Soho Square, 1991
Box 20
Sonneberg, Ben, 1989-1991
Box 20
Williams, George
Box 20
Wills, 1991
Box 20
World Authors, 1993
Box 20

Oversize Materials

(1 box and 1 folder)

Oversize material advertising Powell's works, including Edisto and other books.

Miscellaneous oversize materials
Box 9
Miscellaneous oversize materials
Oversize Folder 1

Historical Note

Padgett Powell is an American author who teaches writing at the University of Florida. His first novel, Edisto, was published in 1984 to wide acclaim, and was nominated for the American Book Award. He has since published several more books, including A Woman Named Drown (1987), Typical (1991), Edisto Revisited (1996), Aliens of Affection (1998), Mrs. Hollingsworth's Men (2000), The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? (2009), and You and I (2011).

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Padgett Powell Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Padgett Powell Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1993 and 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, July 2012

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, July 2012

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 1993-0276, 2012-0129

This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.