Wednesday, August 1, 2012

English professor publishes new book on William Maxwell

A Springfield educator has written her second book about Lincoln, Illinois native and notable American author William Maxwell.

Conversations with William Maxwell, written and compiled by Barbara Burkhardt, has been released by the University of Mississippi Press. She also is the author of William Maxwell: A Literary Life, a 2005 publication.

Burkhardt’s new book collects more than 30 interviews, public speeches and remarks that span five decades of the esteemed novelist and New Yorker fiction editor’s career. The interviews collectively address the entirety of Maxwell’s literary work — with in-depth discussion of his short stories, essays, and novels.

Maxwell was born in Lincoln in 1908 and lived here — in houses on Eighth and Ninth streets and on Park Place — until 1923, when he moved with his father to Chicago. Many of his writings are rooted in his younger years in Lincoln.

Author Burkhardt is an associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Springfield and holds a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, William Maxwell’s alma mater. During the last 10 years of Maxwell’s life, she conducted extensive interviews with him on regular visits to his homes in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y.

Burkhardt's book was featured in a July 31, 2012, article in the Lincoln Courier.

Read the article online