Stanley Elkin Papers, 1955-1995.
Stanley Elkin served as the Merle Kling Distinguished Professor of
English at Washington University. He was born in New York, but grew up
in Chicago. He did both his undergraduate and graduate work at the
University of Illinois, receiving a Ph.D. in 1961, and has been a member
of Washington University's English faculty since 1960.
Elkin's fiction has been heralded for its imaginative poetic style.
He is acclaimed as both an experimentalist, for his style, and a
humorist, albeit a black one, for the comedic nature of his work. Always
bordering on the outlandish, Elkin's work has not received the popular
reception given that of many of his peers. It has, however, been greeted
enthusiastically by critics and reviewers and brought him numerous
literary awards, most recently a National Book Critics Circle Award for
George Mills (1983). Elkin's reputation
has risen steadily with the publication of each of his books and he is
regarded as one of our finest contemporary novelists.