The Reassurance Of Domestic Sounds

Apr 10, 2013


For the UALR English Department, this is J. Bradley Minnick with Facts About Fiction.

“I think he was more complicated than people usually describe him as, and perhaps more complicated to family than he was to people who knew his teaching, who were writers.”

That was Kate Maxwell talking about her father, writer and editor, William Keepers Maxwell, author of the acclaimed novels The Folded Leaf and So Long, See You Tomorrow

Maxwell preferred small messy rooms that didn’t look out on anything interesting and didn’t mind interruptions, unless there were terribly many of them.

Here are the facts:

When Maxwell’s children were small, his youngest daughter came into his small cramped study to play with his typewriter. Maxwell remembered she “touched one of the releases, and the carriage shot out from under him.”

After roaring at her, she hid under the dining room table and refused to accept his apology, which he gave on his knees.

Maxwell would apologize again, some years later, for spending more time raising his writers, who included Nabokov Salinger, and Welty, than his own children.