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At Heaven's Gate: Novel

At Heaven's Gate: Novel

Current price: $15.95
Publication Date: March 17th, 1985
Publisher:
New Directions
ISBN:
9780811209335
Pages:
400
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Description

The second novel by Robert Penn Warren, author of the Pulizter-Prize-winning All The King's Men, is a tour de force and a neglected classic.

At Heaven’s Gate, Robert Penn Warren’s second novel, is a neglected classic of twentieth-century fiction. First published in 1943, it grew out of the author’s years in Nashville during a period of political and financial scandals much like those later so memorably portrayed his Pulitzer-Prize-winning All The King’s Men. Other formative elements, as he has said, "came originally out of Dante by a winding path." During the winter of 1939-40 in Rome, where the first half of the book was written, one of the most touching characters, a "Christ-bit mountaineer," and his part of the story literally came full-blown to the author in a typhus-induced delirium. At Heaven’s Gate is a novel of violence, of human beings struggling against a fate beyond their power to alter, of corruption, and of honor. It is the story of Sue Murdock, the daughter of an unscrupulous speculator who has created a financial empire in the South, and the three men with whom she tries to escape the dominance of her father and her father’s world. The background is the capital of a Southern state in the late twenties and the promoters and politicians, the aristocrats and poor whites, the labor organizers and the dispossessed farmers, the backwoods prophets and university intellectuals who are drawn into its orbit. Warren’s picture of the South is as fresh, dramatic, and powerful today as it was when the book was first published. Its plot structure is a tour de force.

About the Author

Robert Penn Warren (1905–1989) was born in Guthrie, Kentucky. Over a period of more than forty years he wrote in an extraordinary variety of forms, his work includes eight novels and eight volumes of poetry, as well as short stories, critical essays, drama, biography, history, and two studies of race relations in America. Among his many awards are two Pulitzer prizes, for his novel All the King’s Men (1946) and for his volume of poetry Promises (1957), which also won the National Book Award. In 1967 he received the Bollingen Prize in Poetry.