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Jean Stafford
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    (July 1, 1915-March 26, 1979)
    Born in Covina, California
    Wrote the novels ‘Boston Adventure’ (1944), ‘The Mountain Lion’ (1947) and ‘The Catherine Wheel’ (1952)
    Wrote the children’s books ‘Elephi: The Cat with the High I.Q.’ (1962) and ‘The Lion and the Carpenter and Other Tales from the Arabian Tales Retold’ (1962)
    Won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for ‘The Collected Short Stories of Jean Stafford’ (1970)
    Married to poet Robert Lowell (940-48), ‘Time’ staff writer Oliver Jensen (1950-53) and ‘New Yorker’ columnist A.J. Liebling (1959-63)
    While attending the University of Heidelberg, she was fascinated by Nazi pageantry and admitted, ‘If a recruiter had come by and asked me to pledge myself for the rest of my life to the [Nazi Party], in all likelihood I would have done so.’
    After receiving an affectionate letter from her mother, she underlined the Americanisms in it, then forwarded it with mocking comments to friends in Paris.
    She spent a year in the Payne Whitney Clinic after suffering a nervous breakdown (1946).
    She spent much of the last decade of her life in seclusion on Long Island, drinking heavily and laboring over a never-completed novel, ‘The Parliament of Women.’
    Her nose was broken in an auto accident, with a drunk Lowell at the wheel (1938).
    Literally adding insult to injury, Lowell’s aunt, Sarah Winslow, called her ‘that girl Bobby married just because he broke her nose.’
    Lowell broke her nose again when he punched her in the face during one of his manic episodes.
    A New York Times reviewer wrote, ‘Everything that we desire from a collection of short stories, from the art of fiction, in fact, can be found in Stafford’s work.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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