Dawn Powell by Tim Page
A Biography

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 11 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The first biography and the definitive story of a restored American literary treasure.

Perhaps the biggest mystery of Dawn Powell's life is the fact that when she died, all of her books were out of print. She seemed destined to be forgotten. Powell had come to New York City at the age of twenty-one, a gifted and ambitious young woman from a small-town in Ohio. There she lived, usually in some form of domestic uncertainty, for the next forty-seven years. But she always managed to maintain the fresh perspective of a "permanent visitor," exalting the multiplicity and sheer sensory overload of Manhattan. This is what she distilled into her extensive and impressive body of work: her poems, stories, articles, plays, and her dizzying and inventive novels. In Dawn Powell: A Biography, Tim Page gracefully and intelligently explores all the fascinating ironies and often sad complexities of Powell's life and work. Gore Vidal once referred to her as "our best comic novelist," deserving to be as widely read as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. This biography will be a capstone to her triumphant rise from the ashes of near oblivion and her establishment among the giants of twentieth-century American literature.
 

About Tim Page

See more books from this Author
Tim Page is chief music critic for The Washington Post, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1997. A graduate of Columbia University, Page is the executor of Dawn Powell's publishing rights and the editor of The Diaries of Dawn Powell. He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.
 
Published October 14, 1998 by Henry Holt and Co.. 362 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dawn Powell

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

She candidly revealed women in a realistic light, as when a wife bravely confronts her abusive traveling salesman husband in the novel Dance Night or when two newly wedded mothers shoplift their way out of boredom in the story ``Such a Pretty Day.'' (Edmund Wilson once noted that Powell's work di...

| Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Novelist Dawn Powell is rediscovered in a kindly biography that also recalls the hard- drinking literati of Greenwich Village in the decades surrounding WWII.

| Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Powell was born and grew up in the Midwest but moved to New York City and established herself in the Greenwich Village of the 1920s and “30s, eating, drinking, and partying with famous and not so famous writers, musicians, and artists, as well as their patrons, editors, and publishers.

| Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Buried in New York City's potter's field, Hart Island, Powell had just one thing in common with the other people buried there--bad luck. The substance of this meticulously researched, well-written and

Sep 28 1998 | Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

you couldn't trust anybody.'' The deepening sadness of the story is tempered by Powell's fascinating evocation of the details--charming and not so--of turn-of-the-century Ohio life: buggy rides, consumption, a slop jar with a pink crocheted lid, a parlor boasting ``the works of Mrs. E.D.E.N.

| Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

The novel's protagonist, redhead novelist Dennis Orphen, uses lovers-staunch Effie and flirty Corinne-as grist for stories, wielding power with his ``shiny little pen.'' Meanwhile, Effie tends her ex-husband's (another writer) current wife, who is painfully dying of cancer-an incident treated wit...

| Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

What is most winning here--despite the overgenerous, sometimes wearing selection of mundane entries by Page, music critic for the Washington Post--is the sense of a powerful, clear-sighted personality asserting an unsentimental vision despite myriad distractions and obstacles.

| Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Buried in New York City's potter's field, Hart Island, Powell had just one thing in common with the other people buried there--bad luck.

| Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Review (Barnes & Noble)

This diary entry from mid-career suggests that Powell also thought she deserved high, though not just any, company: In the last century, Thackeray, Dickens, Edith Wharton, James, all wrote of their own times and we have reliable records.

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

London Review of Books

I was surprised to find that, in a city where change is so ceaseless, it was in many ways the same Village I had known, though how much resemblance it bore to the Village Powell had lived in was hard to say.

| Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

The New Yorker

Tim Page, the novelist Dawn Powell’s biographer and the owner of the forty-three handwritten volumes of her diaries, was anticipating a feeding frenzy when the diaries went up for auction.Tim Page, the novelist Dawn Powell’s biographer and the owner of the forty-three handwritten volumes of her d...

Jul 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Dawn Powell: A Biography

Reader Rating for Dawn Powell
95%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 5 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review