James Purdy Books In Order

Sleepers in Moon-Crowned Valleys Books In Order

  1. Jeremy’s Version (1970)
  2. The House of the Solitary Maggot (1986)
  3. Mourners Below (1981)
  4. On Glory’s Course (1984)

Novels

  1. Malcolm (1959)
  2. The Nephew (1961)
  3. Cabot Wright Begins (1965)
  4. Eustace Chisholm and the Works (1967)
  5. I Am Elijah Thrush (1972)
  6. Color of Darkness Malcolm (1974)
  7. In a Shallow Grave (1975)
  8. Narrow Rooms (1978)
  9. In the Hollow of His Hand (1986)
  10. Garments the Living Wear (1989)
  11. Out with the Stars (1992)
  12. Epistles of Care (1995)
  13. Gertrude of Stoney Island Avenue (1996)

Omnibus

  1. Dream Palaces: Three Novels (1980)

Collections

  1. 63: Dream Palace (1956)
  2. Colour of Darkness (1961)
  3. Children Is All (1963)
  4. The Candles of Your Eyes (1988)
  5. Moe’s Villa and Other Stories (2000)
  6. Poolside (2007)
  7. The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy (2013)

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James Purdy Books Overview

Jeremy’s Version

Gore Vidal’s 2005 feature profile of James Purdy in the Sunday New York Times Book Review signaled the long overdue arrival of a major literary cult hero into the American canon. Purdy is one of the last surviving, original, post war pioneers of transgressive fiction in line with the Beats, Norman Mailer, Terry Southern, and John Rechy.

Jeremy’s Vision is the first volume of Purdy’s Sleepers in Moon Crowded Valleys trilogy. It is Purdy’s classic novel about a dysfunctional Midwestern family and the struggle between two great dynasties, particularly among the women who rule them.

The House of the Solitary Maggot

The people of Prince’s Crossing called him the old maggot. Not just because he was despicably rich, nor because he owned all their farms, or sired the wild young men who tore up the roads with their galloping horses it was because they could not pronounce the word magnate, which Mr. Skegg assuredly was. Lady Bythewaite, his common law wife, had a devouring love that filled her entire existence, but never affected her iron will and the implacable destiny that led from it. Only Clarence of the three sons could claim the Skegg name, and at the first opportunity he ran off to New York to change it. When he came back, it was with a new name, silent picture fame, and a deadly vengeance to act out. Owen Hawkins was the ‘acknowledged’ son who lived with Lady Bythewaite. A delicate lad, his world included each of his family, with a devotion that was frightening. Aiken Cusworth was the bastard. A great hulking horse tamer with the smell of the fields and animals on him, he had a single bent that yanked man and beast to the line of his terrible whim. Together, they lived in The House of the Solitary Maggot.

Malcolm

Malcolm is a classic innocent, led from one protective personality to another in the search for his missing father. He becomes involved in a series of poignant and wildly comic adventures as he is taken under the wing of an astrologer, an undertaker, a jazz queen and other eccentric characters.

Eustace Chisholm and the Works

A literary cult hero of major proportions, James Purdy’s exquisitely surreal fiction Tennessee Williams meets William S. Burroughs has been populated for more than forty years by social outcasts living in crisis and longing for love. His acclaimed first novel, Malcolm 1959, won praise from writers as diverse as Dame Edith Sitwell, Dorothy Parker, and Gore Vidal, while his later works, from the award winning In a Shallow Grave 1976 to Gertrude of Stony Island Avenue 1998, influenced new generations of authors. Eustace Chisholm and the Works, a 1967 novel that became a gay classic, is an especially outspoken book among the author s controversial body of work. Purdy recalls that Eustace Chisholm and the Works named one of the Publishing Triangle s 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels of the 20th Century outraged the New York literary establishment. More than breaking out of the pre Stonewall closet, however, the book liberated its author and readers can be grateful for that.

In a Shallow Grave

beautiful, moving novel of a love triangle

Narrow Rooms

Gore Vidal’s recent feature profile of James Purdy in the Sunday New York Times Book Review signaled the long overdue arrival of a major literary cult hero into the American canon. Purdy s exquisitely surreal fiction has been populated for more than 40 years by social outcasts living in crisis and longing for love. However, Purdy was also among the first novelists to incorporate transgressive renderings of gay life into his work, including unapologetic, sexually explicit material. Narrow Rooms his 1978 classic that ranks among his most masterful novels is a passionate and sometimes bloody love story about adolescent obsession and revenge.

Garments the Living Wear

James Purdy’s new novel, Garments the Living Wear, is a vision of evil and dark salvation peopled with bizarre and memorable characters. Satirizing life in New York City in the 1980s, its themes include the scourge of AIDS, criminal conspiracies, the excesses of the superrich, modern evangelism, and love in its many forms.

Gertrude of Stoney Island Avenue

In England his novels are always bestsellers, yet for the last decade this American literary master has not been published in his own country. No longer! Gertrude of Stony Island Avenue displays the same plainspoken power that has dazzled Purdy’s devoted audience for decades. The story of a woman’s struggle to come to terms with a life seemingly emptied of meaning by her estranged daughter’s death, it explores themes that Purdy has long made his own: the mysterious connections between creativity and self destruction; the human alchemy that binds us even as it forces us apart; the paradox of loss that leads ultimately to renewed life and love. Its portraits of two very different women a bereaved, bewildered mother and the artistic, passionate, doomed daughter she is still striving to understand are sketched in deceptively simple lines that finally, magically depict a complex world filled with characters observed in such utterly particular detail that they achieve a resonant universality that every reader will recognize.

Moe’s Villa and Other Stories

A literary cult hero, James Purdy’s exquisitely surreal fiction has been populated for more than 40 years by social outcasts living in crisis and longing for love. His acclaimed first novel Malcolm 1959 won praise from writers as diverse as Dame Edith Sitwell, Dorothy Parker, Marianne Moore, and Gore Vidal, while his later books, from the award winning Eustace Chisholm and the Works 1967 to In a Shallow Grave 1976, and Gertrude of Stony Island Avenue 1998 influenced new generations of authors from Dennis Cooper to Paul Russell. Moe s Villa and Other Stories, Purdy s first short story collection in over a decade, showcases twelve new stories; from fairy tales about an opera diva whose mega stardom is managed shrewdly by her talking cat to the little girl who runs off with a fire breathing dragon to eat turtle soup; from a bizarre account of a desperate husband whose obsession over his wayward ex wife leads to his fixation on a rare white dove to a visit to Moe s Villa, a private mansion doubling as a gambling casino where lonely boys are taught the art of poker by the Native American proprietor, Purdy takes his well deserved place in the tradition of the finest American storytellers.

Poolside

Poolside is a waterproof collection of fourteen stories about the satisfactions and tribulations of swimming lessons, summer scenes at club pools, chance encounters at the rec center and just plain floating. The perfect companion for a day of dipping and people watching, Poolside is as necessary as sunscreen for achieving maximum Poolside bliss. Poolside features internationally acclaimed authors Alice Adams, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, David Foster Wallace, Ernest Hemingway, John Cheever, and AM Homes, as well as emerging voices such as Julie Orringer and Andrea Lee.

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