Dorothy L. Sayers: The Centenary Celebration

Alzina Stone Dale, Author
Alzina Stone Dale, Author Walker & Company $18.95 (166p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3224-8
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Fourteen essays by a virtual British and American Who's Who in the mystery field bear witness to English doyenne Sayers's influence on the genre even after her death in 1957. Academics Carolyn G. Heilbrun (aka Amanda Cross) and Sharyn McCrumb (who also writes mysteries) are among the notables united here in praise of this remarkable woman's career. H.R.F. Keating and Ian Stuart object to what they see as Sayers's wordy, affected style and inability to create a realistic milieu, but most of the contributors agree that she earned a singular status in crime literature. British author Michael Gilbert remembers her as the friend who initiated him into the prestigious Detective Club, which she helped to found. Others portray her as a pioneering feminist fighting male dominance at Oxford; the innovative author of the Lord Peter Wimsey stories, first published in 1920 and still popular; a playwright on religious themes; and translator of Dante's Inferno . Dale, who chronicled Sayers's life in Maker and Craftsman , provides a biographical sketch and bibliography, as well as an essay on the final, unfinished Wimsey mystery. ( June )
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