Richard Yates 1926–
American novelist, short story writer, and scriptwriter.
Yates's fictional world challenges the myth of the "American dream." His carefully drawn, unexceptional characters are trapped in lives of frustration and loneliness. The despairing mood of his fiction is relieved only by the skill and compassion with which he reveals his characters' inadequacies and the ennui of their lives.
Yates shuns innovative techniques for traditional realism. His first novel, Revolutionary Road, is still considered his best work for its depiction of the banality of suburban life. Kurt Vonnegut called it "The Great Gatsby of my time," a comment which exemplifies the respect Yates has received from other writers. His short stories collected in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love further develop his theme of the tragedy of loneliness.
(See also CLC, Vols. 7, 8; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 5-8, rev. ed.; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 2; and Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1981.)