The Daily

A Letter from the Editor

John Jeremiah Sullivan Wins Prize, Does Paris Review Proud

May 4, 2011 | by

Photograph by Harry Taylor.

Our Southern Editor, John Jeremiah Sullivan, has gone and won himself a Pushcart Prize with his essay “Mister Lytle” from our fall issue. Richly deserved, we say! An excerpt:

There had been different boys living at Lytle’s since not long after he lost his wife, maybe before—in any case it was a recognized if unofficial institution when I entered the college at seventeen. In former days these were mainly students whose writing showed promise, as judged by a certain well-loved, prematurely white-haired literature professor, himself a former protégé and all but a son during Lytle’s long widowerhood. As years passed and Lytle declined, the arrangement came to be more about making sure someone was there all the time, someone to drive him and chop wood for him and hear him if he were to break a hip.

There were enough of us who saw it as a privilege, especially among the English majors. We were students at the University of the South, and Lytle was the South, the last Agrarian, the last of the famous “Twelve Southerners” behind I’ll Take My Stand, a comrade to the Fugitive Poets, a friend since youth of Allen Tate and Robert Penn Warren; a mentor to Flannery O’Connor and James Dickey and Harry Crews and, as the editor of The Sewanee Review in the sixties, one of the first to publish Cormac McCarthy’s fiction. Bear in mind that by the mid-nineties, when I knew him, the so-called Southern Renascence in letters had mostly dwindled to a tired professional regionalism. That Lytle hung on somehow, in however reduced a condition, represented a flaw in time, to be exploited.

Click here to read the whole thing and here to order a copy of your own.

4 COMMENTS

3 Comments

  1. Maud Newton | May 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Wonderful news!

  2. John Williams | May 4, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    So very well deserved.

  3. Michelle | May 5, 2011 at 1:01 am

    I, who have no pay pal or creditability, must admit, I read it all for free, entranced and delighted by the depth of it’s understanding, the authenticity of it’s emotion, and gratitude for the opportunity to escape into the completeness of a rich human encounter so well elucidated.
    Thank you.

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  1. [...] a towering intellect and great prose stylist. He’s just not. Hopefully Eugenides‘ and Sullivan’s upcoming fall releases will put them both at the [...]

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