Author and Agent: Eudora Welty and Diarmuid Russell

Michael Kreyling, Author First Glance Books $22.95 (316p) ISBN 978-0-374-10727-7
From his first letter to Welty in 1940 (``an agent is rather a benevolent parasite because authors as a rule make more when they have an agent than they do without one''), agent Russell of Russell and Volkening kept up a dedicated correspondence of more than 30 years' duration with the Southern writer. Drawing on these letters, Vanderbilt University English professor Kreyling chronicles the course of the unusually close and enduring relationship the two enjoyed. From his early unflagging efforts to sell Welty's stories to houses interested only in novels to his later support through a period of chaotic change in the publishing industry, Russell functioned as her literary mentor and business adviser, and was clearly instrumental in bringing the author's work to a larger audience. Although Kreyling's style is merely workmanlike, the book takes a revealing look at the often misunderstood relationship between author and agent. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000
Release date: 06/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 236 pages - 978-0-374-52330-5
Hardcover - 978-0-517-10822-2
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