Photo de l'auteur

J. F. Powers (1917–1999)

Auteur de La Mort d'Urban

38+ oeuvres 1,437 utilisateurs 18 critiques 3 Favoris

A propos de l'auteur

James Farl Powers (July 8, 1917 - June 12, 1999) was a Roman Catholic American novelist and short-story writer who often drew his inspiration from developments in the Catholic Church, and was known for his studies of Catholic priests in the Midwest, although he was not a priest himself. He was born afficher plus in Jacksonville, Illinois to a devout Catholic family, and graduated from Quincy College Academy, a Franciscan high school. He took English and philosophy courses at Wright Junior College and at Northwestern University in Chicago, but did not earn a degree. Powers was a conscientious objector during World War II, and went to prison for it. His book Prince of Darkness and Other Stories appeared in 1947. His story "The Valiant Woman" received the O. Henry Award in 1947. The Presence of Grace (1956) was also a collection of short stories. His first novel was Morte d'Urban (1962), which won the 1963 National Book Award for Fiction. Powers died on June 12, 1999. (Bowker Author Biography) afficher moins

Comprend les noms: J.F. Power, POWERS J. F., J. F. Powers

Œuvres de J. F. Powers

La Mort d'Urban (1962) 576 exemplaires
The Stories of J.F. Powers (1999) 227 exemplaires
The Presence of Grace (1969) 50 exemplaires
Look How the Fish Live (1975) 39 exemplaires
The Old Bird, A Love Story (1991) 3 exemplaires
A Losing Game 2 exemplaires
Jamesie [short story] 1 exemplaire
Bill 1 exemplaire
Tinkers 1 exemplaire
Pharisees 1 exemplaire
Farewell 1 exemplaire
Priestly Fellowship 1 exemplaire
Moonshot 1 exemplaire
Keystone 1 exemplaire
Folks 1 exemplaire
Blue Island 1 exemplaire
He Don't Plant Cotton 1 exemplaire
Zeal 1 exemplaire
The Valiant Woman 1 exemplaire
The Lord's Day 1 exemplaire
Dawn 1 exemplaire
The Trouble 1 exemplaire
The Eye 1 exemplaire
Renner 1 exemplaire
The Forks 1 exemplaire
The Poor Thing 1 exemplaire

Oeuvres associées

The Best American Short Stories of the Century (2000) — Contributeur — 1,547 exemplaires
Short Story Masterpieces (1954) — Contributeur — 674 exemplaires
Baseball: A Literary Anthology (2002) — Contributeur — 334 exemplaires
The Treasury of American Short Stories (1981) — Contributeur — 267 exemplaires
The Big New Yorker Book of Cats (2013) — Contributeur — 129 exemplaires
Baseball's Best Short Stories (1995) — Contributeur — 79 exemplaires
Stories from The New Yorker, 1950 to 1960 (1958) — Contributeur — 68 exemplaires
Art of Fiction (1967) — Contributeur — 51 exemplaires
The Experience of the American Woman (1978) — Contributeur — 46 exemplaires
The Haves & Have Nots: 30 Stories About Money & Class In America (1999) — Contributeur — 33 exemplaires
Hot and Cool: Jazz Short Stories (1990) — Contributeur — 30 exemplaires
American short stories, 1820 to the present (1952) — Contributeur — 26 exemplaires
Studies in Fiction (1965) — Contributeur — 22 exemplaires
The Best American Short Stories 1944 (1944) — Contributeur — 18 exemplaires
Cat Encounters: A Cat-Lover's Anthology (1979) — Contributeur — 10 exemplaires
The best of the Best American short stories, 1915-1950 (1975) — Contributeur — 10 exemplaires
The Best American Short Stories 1947 (1947) — Contributeur — 7 exemplaires
The Best American Short Stories 1951 (1951) — Contributeur — 6 exemplaires
American Review #23 (1975) — Contributeur — 4 exemplaires
Strange Barriers (1955) — Contributeur — 2 exemplaires


Partage des connaissances



This is a gentle, slow-moving story of a bon vivant Catholic priest in mid-50s (?) midwest America, and the foibles and flaws of his colleagues in the backwaters of the Order of St Clementine as they try to manage their affairs. The humour is rather dry and indirect, to the point of obscurity at times, and the story drags in places. Some characters seem important for awhile, then disappear without another word. It's uneven and the ending is somehow out of character with the rest and weakly anti-climactic.… (plus d'informations)
breathslow | 7 autres critiques | Jan 27, 2024 |
I have read both of JF Powers' novels and all (I think) of his short stories. In fact I remember seeing his first book of stories, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, in a paperback rack in the vestibule of our Catholic church when I was a boy back the 1950s. I read MORTE D'URBAN in college in the late sixties and have read it a few more times since then. I was very pleased to see all of his work back in print from NYRB Press a few years back, and even purchased those editions of WHEAT THAT SPRINGETH GREEN and COLLECTED STORIES - and read them again. So I think its safe to say I am a longtime fan.

Since Powers only published five books, I was really looking forward to finally reading SUITABLE ACCOMMODATIONS, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY OF FAMILY LIFE: THE LETTERS OF J.F. POWERS, 1942-1963 (2013), collected and edited by his daughter, Katherine A. Powers (named, incidentally, for author Katherine Ann Porter). Sadly, I found it to be a disappointment, and almost wish I hadn't read it. Some of the early letters were written from prison. Powers was incarcerated for more than a year during the war for ignoring his draft notice after his bid for conscientious objector status was refused. Upon his parole, he was forced to work as a hospital orderly for a time.

Powers' later letters do display his determination to earn a living by his writing, a goal he never quite properly achieved, living on the edge of poverty and taking loans and charity from his in-laws and friends throughout his life. I felt sorry for his long-suffering wife, Betty, who bore most of the burdens of their ever-expanding family (five children) and multiple moves into shoddy rentals around Minnesota as well as overseas to Ireland and back (at least twice). What I found most annoying in the letters was ample evidence of what seemed to be laziness, entitlement, and a lack of discipline about his writing as well as a steady stream of complaining, whining even, about his life. And even some begging, wheedling letters to his clergy friends, asking for "loans" he would never repay. And all this in spite of the fact that he was offered multiple decent-paying jobs at various colleges and universities, which he turned down.

I kept reading the letters because I assumed things would change for the better for Powers and his family when MORTE D'URBAN won the NBA in 1963. Nope. The thousand dollar prize didn't go far for the financially strapped family of seven, and Powers' lack of discipline in his craft failed to capitalize on his newfound "fame."

Powers lived until 1999, but only published two more books after that NBA.

So, despite all the 'cleverness' often on display in the letters, I found myself disliking the man behind the books and stories I have so long admired. He is too self-centered too lazy, too selfish. But his books remain. And they are priceless in their portrayals of Catholic parish life in the mid-twentieth century. These letters? Nope.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
… (plus d'informations)
TimBazzett | Aug 13, 2022 |
Devotion to faith, idealism and the sublime give way, over the course of a priest’s childhood through middle age, to a realization that service, duty and fellowship are not necessarily obstacles or hurdles, but rather can be the same pursuit.

Dryly funny and obviously written from the point of view of someone greatly irritated by - but with great love for - his fellow man.

Popple_Vuh | 5 autres critiques | Oct 24, 2021 |
stravinsky | 5 autres critiques | Dec 28, 2020 |


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