Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Paul West is a remarkably prolific novelist whose literary interests also include poetry, criticism, and other nonfiction. In addition to his books of verse, Poems (1952), The Spellbound Horses (1960), The Snow Leopard (1964), and Tea with Osiris (2006), West has published memoirs. These include I, Said the Sparrow (1963), which recounts his childhood in Derbyshire; Words for a Deaf Daughter (1969)—one of West’s most popular works—which poignantly relates the experiences of his daughter, Mandy, who is deaf; and Out of My Depths: A Swimmer in the Universe (1983), which describes the author’s determination to learn to swim at middle age. His short stories were collected in The Universe, and Other Fictions in 1988.

Besides his numerous essays and book reviews in dozens of periodicals, journals, and newspapers, West has published The Growth of the Novel (1959), Byron and the Spoiler’s Art (1960, 1992), The Modern Novel (1963), Robert Penn Warren (1964), The Wine of Absurdity: Essays in Literature and Consolation (1966), and a four-volume series titled Sheer Fiction (1987-2007). A Stroke of Genius: Illness and Self-Discovery was published in 1995, and he published several other volumes of nonfiction, including The Secret Lives of Words (2000), My Father’s War (2005), and The Shadow Factory (2008).