Stuart Wright Collection: Anne Tyler Papers, 1980, 1983

Manuscript Collection #1169-067

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: Stuart Wright Collection: Anne Tyler Papers
    Creator: Bambara, Toni Cade, 1939-1995 -- Archives
    Tyler, Anne, (Mrs. Taghi Modarressi), b. 1941
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers of Anne Tyler (1980, 1983) documenting the life and literary career the noted Minneapolis, Minnesota-born American novelist and short story writer; consisting of loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection pertaining to The Best American Short Stories, edited by Anne Tyler (1983); also an oversized archival folder including a review by Anne Tyler of Toni Cade Bambara’s novel, The Salt Eaters, in the Washington Post Book World (30 March 1980).
    Extent: 0.35 Cubic feet, 0.35 Cubic feet, 1 archival box, 1 oversized archival folder,
  • Description

    Stuart Wright Collection: Anne Tyler Papers (#1169-067) are arranged in original order in a single series.

    Series 1: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection, consist of papers (1980, 1983) documenting the life and literary career of Anne Tyler (b. 1941), the noted American novelist and short story writer; consisting of loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection (1983) and an oversized newspaper section including a review by Tyler in Washington Post Book World (30 March 1980). Source: Cary Addition Boxes #080.000 & 093.002. Series 1 is housed on Box 1.a, os1.

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    Anne Tyler, the noted American novelist and short story writer, was born Anne Phyllis Tyler on 25 October 1941 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Quaker parents. In 1948, her family settled in a Quaker commune in Celo, North Carolina. The commune was where she lived for four years, until her parents moved the family to Raleigh, North Carolina when she was 11.

    Tyler graduated from high school early at the age of 16. She won a full A. B. Duke scholarship to Duke University, where she majored in Russian Literature. Shortly after graduating at the age of 19, she received a fellowship to graduate school in Slavic Studies at Columbia University. At Columbia she completed all her courses but did not finish her master's thesis. She then returned to Duke to start a job as a Russian bibliographer in the library. It was while working at Duke that she met her husband, Iranian psychologist and writer, Taghi Mohammed Modarressi (m. 1963-1997), who was then a resident in child psychiatry at Duke Medical School. He died in 1997 of lymphoma at the age of 65.

    Tyler began writing while still at Duke University, and published several items, winning awards, and impressing Reynolds Price, among others. In the mid-1960s, however, Tyler moved with her husband to Baltimore, Maryland, where he had accepted a position at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She settled into the Roland Park neighborhood and into the Baltimore Quaker community and continues to live in the city. Most of her fiction takes place in Roland Park and Baltimore. Here she began to publish her previously written work. During the period 1965-1970, however, Tyler did not write new material but concentrated on caring for her family, which grew to include two daughters.

    Tyler publisher's subsequent fiction dealt with marriages, families, loneliness and isolation, the inability to communicate, of people in the modern American South. Her most successful novels were Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1982) and The Accidental Tourist (1985). Over her career Tyler has written several dozen novels, dozens of short stories, and a couple children's books. Her short stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Saturday Evening Post, Redbook, and Harper's. Six of her novels have been turned into movies. She has received many awards including, the Janet Heidinger Kafka prize (1980), P.E.N./Faulkner Award for Fiction (1982) and a Pulitzer Prize in fiction (1989).


    "Anne Tyler Papers, 1958-2016 (#RL.0131)". 29 Linear Feet, 8300 Items. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Duke University, Durham, NC.

    "Anne Tyler". [Biographical Sketch] Gale Literature Resource Center. 7 January 2010. Accessed 9 November 2016.¤tPosition=3&docId=GALE|K1632000260&docType=Biography&sort=RELEVANCE&contentSegment=&prodId=LitRC&contentSet=GALE|K1632000260&searchId=R2&userGroupName=ncliveecu&inPS=true.

    "Anne Tyler". [Biographical Sketch] Wikipedia. Accessed 9 November 2016.

    Author: Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of John Leche, 11/9/2016, 3/15/2017.

    Stuart Wright collected and compiled the Anne Tyler Papers. He was born, Stuart Thurman Wright, on 30 March 1948, in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Frances Critcher Wright (1919-2010) and Wallace Lyndon Wright (1921-1965). An avid reader as a boy, Wright developed a strong interest in the American Civil War and with his father toured many of the war's battlefields searching for artifacts and studying the history of the era. At the age of 12, he won a statewide "Johnny Reb" essay contest and by the age of 15 had visited every major battlefield of the Civil War. Wright attended Roxboro High School, from which he graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he developed an interest in collecting historical books and manuscripts and began relationships with a number of local collectors and dealers.

    In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.

    Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.

    At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.

    All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright's collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.

    Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 106 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers, illustrators, composers, and publishers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.

    Author: Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2016

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    27 October 2011, (Cary Addition #1), 0.35 cubic feet; 1 archival box & 1 oversized folder; 3 items; 10 p. Papers (1980, 1983) documenting the life and literary career of Anne Tyler (b. 1941), a noted American novelist and short story writer; consisting of loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection (1983) and an oversized newspaper section including a review by Tyler of Toni Cade Bambara’s novel, The Salt Eaters, in the Washington Post Book World (30 March 1980). Source: Cary Addition Boxes #080.000 & 093.002. Vendor: Stuart Wright

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased from Stuart Wright, 10/27/2011

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    Stuart Wright Collection: Anne Tyler Papers (#1169-067), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container List, by Jonathan Dembo, 2/15/2016; Final inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 9/26/2016, 11/9/2016; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 11/9/2016; Biographical Sketch, by Jonathan Dembo with the assistance of Dale Wetterhahn & John Leche, 11/9/2016, rev. 2/9/2017; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 2/9/2017.

Container List

This page is only for requesting materials that you wish to view in person in the Reading Room at Joyner Library. It does not permit you to view the materials online or to request their photoduplication. If you would like to request materials for photoduplication, please visit our Copying and Permissions page.

Sensitive Materials Statement

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.

Use the checkboxes to select the boxes/folders you would like to view, then click continue at the bottom of the page.

Container List

Once you have selected all of the boxes/folders you would like to view, click