Elkin, Stanley

Elkin, Stanley,

1930–95, American writer, b. New York City. An offbeat fiction writer, Elkin had a gift for black comedy, fantastic imagery, bizarre situations, and a kind of lyrical bleakness, all expressed in ornately wrought language. He was essentially a moralist, and his works reveal a deep underlying seriousness. His novels include Boswell: A Modern Comedy (1964), The Franchiser (1976), George Mills (1982), The Magic Kingdom (1985), and Mrs. Ted Bliss (1995). His short stories, notably Criers and Kibitzers, Kibitzers and Criers (1966), and novellas, such as Searches and Seizures (1973), won critical acclaim. Also an essayist (e.g., the 1992 collection Pieces of Soup), Elkin taught writing (1960–95) at Washington Univ. in St. Louis.

Elkin, Stanley (Lawrence)

(1930–  ) writer, educator; born in New York City. A University of Illinois Ph.D., he served in the U.S. Army (1957–59) and taught at several colleges before joining the English faculty of Washington University (St. Louis) (1968). He published many short stories and over half a dozen novels, skewering contemporary American life with his elusive plots and allusive language, from Boswell (1964) to George Mills (1982) and The Magic Kingdom (1985). Stanley Elkin's Greatest Hits, a collection of his shorter works, appeared in 1980. He suffered from multiple sclerosis for much of his adult life.
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