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William Neal Harrison Papers

Papers, 1956-1999

Manuscript Collection 487



INFORMATION ABOUT WILLIAM NEAL HARRISON

William Neal Harrison, novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter, was born on October 29, 1933, in Dallas, Texas.  He received a B.A. in 1955 from Texas Christian University and an M.A. in 1959 from Vanderbilt University.  As both an undergraduate and graduate student, Harrison had some of his poetry and essays published in student publications.  At Vanderbilt, Harrison became involved in theatre as an actor, director, and playwright, and he also received awards for his short stories.  Harrison spent a year in the University of Iowa's Creative Writing Program before teaching for two years at Texas College of Arts and Industries in Kingsville, Texas.  He accepted a faculty position in the English Department at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1964; the following year Harrison established the University of Arkansas's Creative Writing Program, which, within a period of a few years, achieved national recognition.

Harrison's best-known works are The Theologian, In a Wild Sanctuary, Rollerball Murder and Other Stories, Rollerball (screenplay), Africana, Savannah Blue, and Burton and Speke.  He has received several awards and honors, including the Columbia School of Journalism Prize in Fiction (1971), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1974), a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1977), and the Christopher Award for Television (1979).


INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The William Harrison Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department by William Harrison of Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 19, 1990.

The Harrison collection contains extensive personal and professional correspondence; notes and manuscripts of the majority of the novels; manuscripts of several short stories; drafts of poetry; reviews of Harrison's works; articles pertaining to Harrison's career; published copies of selected short stories; interviews; photographs; and royalty statements.

Prepared by Julie Watkins, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in June 1999.


CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION ( ca. 7.8 linear feet; 19 containers)
 

Series 1. Vitae and bibliographies, 1955-1998. (Box 1)

Series 2. Correspondence. (Boxes 1-6)

               Subseries 1. Chronological arrangement, 1956-1982.
               Subseries 2. Subject arrangement, personal and corporate name.

Series 3. Manuscripts and notes. Prose. Published or produced.  (Boxes 7-13)

               Subseries 1. Novels.
               Subseries 2. Short story collections.
               Subseries 3. Short stories.
               Subseries 4. Screenplays and television dramas.
               Subseries 5. Articles.
               Subseries 6. Book reviews.

Series 4. Manuscripts and notes. Prose. Not published and produced.  (Boxes 13-16)

               Subseries 1. Novels.
               Subseries 2. Short story collections.
               Subseries 3. Short stories.
               Subseries 4. Screenplays and television dramas.

Series 5. Manuscripts and notes. Poetry.  (Box 16)

Series 6. Printed materials.  (Boxes 16-17)

               Subseries 1. Reviews and articles.
               Subseries 2. Rollerball (film).
               Subseries 3. Theatre programs and notices.
               Subseries 4. Short stories and articles, published copies.

Series 7. Miscellaneous materials. (Box 17)

               Subseries 1. Photographs.
               Subseries 2. Royalty statements.

Oversize materials. (Boxes 18-19)


Series 1.  Vitae and Bibliographies (Box 1)

Box 1

 1. Vitae and bibliographies, 1955-1998.


Series 2.  Correspondence (Boxes 1-6)

The following chronological and subject arrangements of WH's correspondence reflect the Special Collections Division's policy to preserve an author's original filing system whenever possible.

Subseries 1. Chronological arrangement, 1956-1982.

Correspondence to and from fellow writers, editors, colleagues, and former classmates and teachers, primarily. Some correspondents in chronological arrangement also have individual files in subject  arrangement. Substantial correspondence with Lee Abbott, Walton Beacham, W.D. Blackmon, Vance Bourjaily, Bob Brown, Jeff Brown, A.S. Burack, Verlin Cassill, Scott Catlett, Warnock Davies, Charles East, Lisel Eisenheimer, Lee Ellsworth, Paul Engle, Seymour Epstein, George Garrett, Ellen Gilchrist, William Carrington Guy, Barry Hannah, Steve King, James Landis, Owen Laster, Seymour Lawrence, Gordon Lish, Michael Mewshaw, Brian Moore, Harold Onstad, Lee Reynolds, Philip Roth, Bill Seale, Theodore Solotaroff, Robert Ward, Tom Whalen, Ben Whitehill, Richard Yates, and John Yount.

Box 1

 2. 1956-1961.
 3. 1962.
 4. 1963.
 5. 1964.
 6. 1965.
 7. 1966.
 8. 1967.
 9. 1968.
 10. 1969.
 11. 1970.
 12. 1971.

Box 2

 1. 1972.
 2. 1973 (1 of 2).
 3. 1973 (2 of 2).
 4. 1974.
 5. 1975 (1 of 2).
 6. 1975 (2 of 2).
 7. 1976 (1 of 2).

Box 3

 1. 1976 (2 of 2).
 2. 1977 (1 of 2).
 3. 1977 (2 of 2).
 4. 1978 (1 of 2).
 5. 1978 (2 of 2).
 6. 1979 (1 of 2).
 7. 1979 (2 of 2).
 8. 1980 (1 of 2).

Box 4

 1. 1980 (2 of 2).
 2. 1981.
 3. 1982.

Subseries 2. Subject arrangement. Personal and corporate name.

Correspondence with fellow writers and colleagues, and editors at publishing houses. Some correspondents with individual files in subject arrangement also have correspondence in chronological arrangement.

Box 4 (cont.)

 4. Bantam Books.
 5. Verlin Cassill.
 6. Jim Crumley.
 7. Robert Funk.

Box 5

 1. George Garrett (1 of 2).
 2. George Garrett (2 of 2).
 3. Guggenheim Fellowship.
 4. Harper and Row.
 5. Bob Lacy.
 6. Tom McNair.
 7. Harry Minetree.
 8. Morton Mitosky.

Box 6

 1. William Morrow (1 of 2).
 2. William Morrow (2 of 2).
 3. Stephen Oberbeck.
 4. Robert Sorrells.
 5. Jim Whitehead.
 6. Miller Williams.
 7. John Yount.


Series 3.  Manuscripts and notes. Prose. Published or produced. (Boxes 7-13)

Subseries 1. Novels.

Includes background materials, manuscript drafts (some with WH's revisions or editor's revisions), and galley proofs of The Theologian, In a Wild Sanctuary, Lessons in Paradise, Africana, Savannah Blue, Burton and Speke, and Three Hunters.

Box 7

 1. The Theologian. Typed script with editor's marks.
 2. The Theologian. Galley proofs (Oversize; see box 18).
 3. In a Wild Sanctuary. Typed script.
 4. In a Wild Sanctuary. Typed script with editor's marks.

Box 8

 1. In a Wild Sanctuary. Galley proofs and sample book cover and dust jacket cover (Oversize; see box 18).
 2. Lessons in Paradise. Typed script with editor's marks.
 3. Lessons in Paradise. Galley proofs with corrections (1 of 2) (Oversize; see box 18).
 4. Lessons in Paradise. Galley proofs with corrections (2 of 2) (Oversize; see box 18).
 5. Lessons in Paradise. Contract, motion picture rights (Oversize; see box 18).
 6. Africana. Background materials. Early draft segments and correspondence scattered throughout (1 of 4).
 7. Africana. Background materials. Early draft segments and correspondence scattered throughout (2 of 4).
 8. Africana. Background materials. Early draft segments and correspondence scattered throughout (3 of 4).
 9. Africana. Background materials. Early draft segments and correspondence scattered throughout (4 of 4).
 10. Africana. Typed script with WH's notes.

Box 9

 1. Africana. Galley proofs with corrections (1 of 2) (Oversize; see box 19).
 2. Africana. Galley proofs with corrections (2 of 2) (Oversize; see box 19).
 3. Africana. Bound proofs and preliminary art work and sample pages.
 4. Savannah Blue. Background materials (Oversize; see box 19).
 5. Savannah Blue. Professional correspondence, fan mail, etc.
 6. Burton and Speke. Background materials (1 of 2).
 7. Burton and Speke. Background materials (2 of 2).

Box 10

 1. Burton and Speke. First half typed script with editor's marks.
 2. Burton and Speke. Second half typed script with editor's marks.
 3. Three Hunters. Background materials, early draft segments, and correspondence.

Box 11

 1. A Safari to the Lake (later Three Hunters). Typed script.
 2. Three Hunters. Typed script.
 3. Three Hunters. Typed script (without "attack chapter"). Editor's marks.
 

Subseries 2. Short story collections.

One or more drafts of the following short stories appearing in The Buddha in Malibu: "The Big Bang Theory of Love," "The Rocky Hills of Trancas," "Yes, I've Bought a Couple of Options Myself," "Pretty Girl and Fat Friend," and "The Buddha in Malibu."

 4. The Buddha in Malibu. Drafts of selected stories.
 

Subseries 3. Short stories.

Drafts and manuscript versions of the following selected short stories published by WH: "Afternoons There Are in Limbo," "The Blurb King," "The Warrior," "Nirvana, Gotterdammerung, and The Shot Put," "The Arsons of Desire," "Rollerball Murder," "Under the House," "Weatherman: A Theological Narrative," "The Good Ship Erasmus," "Stuntman," "Down the Blue Hole," "The Makeup Man,"  "On Location," and "Two Cars in a Cornfield."

Box 12

 1. Short stories. Published (1 of 2).
 2. Short stories. Published (2 of 2).
 

Subseries 4. Screenplays and television dramas.

Drafts of Rollerball, A Shining Season, and Mountains of the Moon, and final shooting scripts for A Shining Season and Mountains of the Moon.

 3. Rollerball
 4. A Shining Season.

Box 13

 1. Mountains of the Moon.
 

Subseries 5. Articles.

Drafts of the non-fiction articles "Names and Places: A Short Literary Memoir," "Terminal Win" (also a draft of "How to Be," which appears to be an earlier version of "Terminal Win"), and "Detecting London."

 2. Non-fiction articles.
 

Subseries 6. Book reviews.

Typed manuscripts of reviews of the following books (it is unclear whether all were published) written by WH: Nabokov's Dark Cinema by Alfred Appel, The Starship and the Canoe by Kenneth Brower, In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin, Geronimo Rex by Barry Hannah, Ray by Barry Hannah, The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen, The Singing Knives by Frank Stanford, The Farm on the River of Emeralds by Moritz Thomsen, and Shedding Skin by Robert Ward.

 3. Book reviews.


Series 4.  Manuscripts and notes. Prose. Not published or produced. (Boxes 13-16)
 

Subseries 1. Novels.

Drafts for two unfinished novels, Doing Life and The Shadow That Lost Its Man, and background material for Doing Life.

Box 13 (cont.)

 4. Doing Life. Background material.
 5. Doing Life. Unfinished draft.

Box 14

 1.  The Shadow That Lost Its Man (working title). Unfinished draft.
 

Subseries 2. Short story collections.

Drafts of selected stories to be included in forthcoming short story collection, Texas Heat.

 2. Texas Heat. Selected drafts.
 

Subseries 3. Short stories.

Drafts of short stories that were never published. Early story titles are "The Gulf," "The Spring and Summer of Barney Kirk," "Things As They Are," and "Oldest Serpent of the Heart." Later story titles are "Raising Some Quiet Hell in Texas," "The Poker Club," "The Junkyard," "Zoom in, Flashback, and Slow Dissolve," "Celluloid" (unfinished), and "Hogging It All in Vegas."

 3. Early stories.
 4. Later stories.
 

Subseries 4. Screenplays and television dramas.

Drafts of unproduced screenplays adapted from WH's works, and from a novel by Richard Yates, Cold Spring Harbor; drafts of unproduced screenplays commissioned by television and film production companies.

 5. In a Wild Sanctuary. Contract, motion picture rights (Oversize; see box 19).
 6. In a Wild Sanctuary. Screenplay drafts (1 of 2).
 7. In a Wild Sanctuary. Screenplay drafts (2 of 2).
 8. The Hermit. Screenplay draft.

Box 15

 1. The Arsons of Desire. Screenplay draft.
 2. Untitled television play.
 3. Miss Lady.
 4. Bluegrass.
 5. Jack of Spades.
 6. Bicycle Summer (based on Cold Spring Harbor).

Box 16

 1. The Mensa Murder.
 2. Upriver.


Series 5.  Manuscripts and notes. Poetry. (Box 16)

Drafts (in some cases multiple drafts with revisions) of poetry written by WH from 1955 to c.1965.

 3. Poetry, 1955 - c. 1965.


Series 6.  Printed Materials (Boxes 16-17)
 

Subseries 1. Reviews and articles.

Includes reviews of WH's works; articles on WH's career; the University of Arkansas's Creative Writing program; articles regarding conferences, workshops, and lectures that WH attended or presented; and interviews with WH.

Box 16 (cont.)

 4. Early works. Reviews
 5. The Theologian. Reviews.
 6. In a Wild Sanctuary. Reviews.
 7. Lessons in Paradise. Reviews.
 8. Rollerball Murder and Other Stories. Reviews.
 9. Rollerball (film). Newspaper coverage of the filming process.
 10. Africana. Reviews.
 11. Savannah Blue. Reviews.
 12. Burton and Speke. Reviews.
 13. The Buddha in Malibu. Reviews.
 14. Anthologies containing WH's works.
 15. Articles regarding WH or Creative Writing Program.
 16. Conferences, workshops, lectures, and interviews.
 

Subseries 2. Rollerball (film).

Correspondence, articles (see also articles folder in Subseries 1 above), and miscellaneous materials related to filming of Rollerball. Includes WH's "The Mutations of Rollerball," which is a commentary on the short story, the film production process, and the final film version.

 17. Rollerball (film) (1 of 2).

Box 17

 1. Rollerball (film) (2 of 2).
 

Subseries 3. Theatre programs and newspaper notices.

Program for a play entitled Barnaby, which was written by WH; programs for plays WH acted in or directed while attending, or shortly after graduating from, Vanderbilt University. Local newspaper notices.

 2. Theatre programs and newspaper notices.
 

Subseries 4. Short stories and articles, published copies.

Copies of selected short stories and articles by WH taken from the magazines in which they appeared.

 3. Short stories and articles, published copies.


Series 7.  Miscellaneous materials (Box 17)
 

Subseries 1. Photographs.

Various promotional head shots of WH, singles of WH, and photographs of WH with Merlee Harrison, Jim Whitehead, Miller Williams, George Garrett, William Peden, Richard Yates, Verlin Cassill, and James Seay. Group shot of actors on Rollerball team and opening shots (one crediting WH with teleplay) of A Shining Season.

 4. Photographs.
 

Subseries 2. Royalty statements.
 

Royalty statements and check stubs from various publishers. Additional royalty statements are scattered throughout correspondence files.

 5. Royalty statements.


Oversize materials. (Boxes 18-19)

Materials listed here are too large to store in their logical locations.  Within the boxes they are arranged according to series and subseries numbers.

Box 18

 1. The Theologian. Galley proofs.
 2. In a Wild Sanctuary. Galley proofs and sample book cover and dust jacket cover.
 3. Lessons in Paradise. Galley proofs with corrections (1 of 2).
 4. Lessons in Paradise. Galley proofs with corrections (2 of 2).
 5. Lessons in Paradise. Contract, motion picture rights.

Box 19

 1. Africana. Galley proofs with corrections (1 of 2).
 2. Africana. Galley proofs with corrections (2 of 2).
 3. Savannah Blue. Background materials.
 4. In a Wild Sanctuary. Contract, motion picture rights.



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