Robert Boswell Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

A product of Missouri, Kentucky, and the American West, Robert Boswell is a figure whose works place him among those top-rate fiction writers who rarely make national best-seller lists or receive sustained attention from the critics. Nevertheless, since the 1980’s, he has published provoking works that cannot be ignored by serious readers of American literature.{$S[A]Aaron, Shale;Boswell, Robert}

Boswell was born on December 8, 1953, in Sikeston, Missouri, to middle-class parents, Albert Russell Boswell, a teacher, and Annelle Boswell, a real estate agent. Robert Boswell was to spend most of his early childhood in Wickliffe, Kentucky, a rural town in the extreme western part of the state near the Mississippi River. When he was twelve years old, his family moved to Yuma, Arizona; Boswell has continued to live in Arizona and New Mexico almost continuously since then. One of those would-be flower children who was just a little late for the 1960’s, Boswell was greatly concerned with the draft and the Vietnam War. He became seriously involved with drugs while a student at the University of Arizona, where he earned his undergraduate degree and a subsequent degree in counseling. After working a few years in California as a counselor, he returned to Arizona and completed his education in 1984 by earning an M.F.A. in writing. In that same year he married Antonya Nelson, also a writer, and they had two children, Jade and Noah.

His writing career got something of a break in the early 1980’s when he met...

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(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Kakutani, Michiko. “Trying to Be Like Bogart, Unattached, Without a Past.” The New York Times Book Review, September 12, 1989, 19. A detailed, favorable review of The Geography of Desire. Kakutani compares the main character of the novel, Leon Green, to Humphrey Bogart; he also relates this novel to the earlier Crooked Hearts.

Lee, Don. “About Robert Boswell.” Ploughshares 22, no. 4 (Winter, 1996/1997): 216-221. An excellent discussion of Boswell’s life and career. Provides information about the author’s background and family life, as these are related to his works. Additionally, Lee lists awards and gives particular attention to Mystery Ride.

Olshan, Joseph. “Picks and Pans—Mystery Ride by Robert Boswell.” People 39, no. 5 (February 8, 1993). A favorable, brief review containing comments from Boswell about his novel.

Parsons, Alexander McIlvaine. “Robert Boswell.” In American Short-Story Writers Since World War II, Third Series, edited by Patrick Meanor and Richard E. Lee. Vol. 234 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. An overview of Boswell’s life and career.