Peter DeVries Critical Essays


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

DeVries, Peter 1910–

DeVries is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and editor known for his witty caricatures of upper middle-class American life. Raised in a strict Dutch Calvinist home, DeVries often combines comedy with religious and moral questions to create social satire with pessimistic, tragic under-currents. Melvin Maddocks has called his work "Kafka crossed with the Keystone Kops." DeVries employs farce, parody, burlesque, and, especially, puns in his novels of manners. Several of his works have been adapted for film and stage. (See also CLC, Vols. 1, 2, 3, 7, and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 17-20, rev. ed.)