Recommended Reading: Playwright Lee Blessing
The Ransom Center holds American playwright Lee Blessing's papers, which include typescripts of his plays, teleplays, and screenplays. Blessing will be a panelist at the 2008 Flair Symposium, Creating a Usable Past: Writers, Archives, and Institutions.
The Meadow by James Galvin
Solitude is not loneliness, and no book ever showed the difference better. This meditation on the history, geography, and sociology of a ranch on the Colorado-Wyoming border makes us examine our innermost landscapes—assuming we have any. Some books can make us stronger; this is one.
The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees edited by Donald Justice
(University of Nebraska Press, 1962)
Kees was a prose writer, painter, and jazz aficionado in New York City before settling among the Beats in San Francisco. In 1955 his car was found by the Golden Gate Bridge; he was never seen again. But that's not why he's interesting. These poems are why. They're impeccable, and they question everything.
Heaven's My Destination by Thornton Wilder
Wilder's picaresque look at a Depression-era textbook salesman in the Midwest drew mixed reviews in 1935. Sigmund Freud threw it across the room. Edmund Wilson called it one of Wilder's best. Practically a one-sit read, this was deeply funny, painful and capable of an amazing level of indirection.
Murphy by Samuel Beckett
(Grove Press, 1957)
A mid-1930s project, written in English—more accessible than his other novels. I read it as an undergraduate, and it's never left me. Hope that's a good thing. It always feels valuable to go to a great writer's early work. With luck you can glimpse that first step taken off the beaten path. How did they know to do that... right there?