Painter, Charlotte

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Charlotte Painter, born in 1926, is a writer, poet and educator. She has authored books, short stories and poems. Her professional career began as an editor at Macmillan Publishing Co. After completing a Stegner Fellowhip at Stanford University in 1962 she went on to receive her Masters in English from Stanford in 1966 and taught there until 1969. She taught creative writing at the University of California at Berkeley, Davis and Santa Cruz, and later received tenure at San Francisco State University.

From the description of Charlotte Painter papers, 1955-2004. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 462019117

Biographical Note

Charlotte Painter was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1926. She received her Bachelors Degree in Theater from Louisiana State University in 1947. From 1956 to 1960, she rose to Senior Editor at The Macmillan Publishing Company in New York. Having received a Masters of Arts in English from Stanford in 1965, Painter taught creative writing at Stanford until 1969, and at the University of Califonia, at Berkeley, at Davis, and at Santa Cruz in the 1960s and early 1970s. From 1975, she taught intermittantly at San Francisco State University until she received tenure in 1988. She retired in the Spring of 1991.

Painter's first short story appeared in The New Yorker in 1955. She finished her first novel, The Fortunes of Laurie Breaux, in 1961, and subsequently, won a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in the Stanford Creative Writing Program for the academic year 1961-1962. After completing her fellowship, she left California to join her husband Thomas Earl Voorhees (M.A. in Anthropology from Stanford) in Nashville, Tennessee where Voorhees taught at Vanderbilt University. Painter survived the isolation of being pregnant in an unfamiliar city by keeping a diary which she published in 1965 as Who Made the Lamb. The summer after Painter and Voorhees left Nashville, in June 1963, Voorhees drowned, leaving Painter a widow and a single mother of an infant son.

With the support of subsequent fellowships, Painter pursued her writing vigorously after her husband's death. She published Who Made the Lamb in 1965, Confessions from the Malaga Madhouse in 1971, Revelations: Diaries of Women in 1975, Seeing Things in 1976, numerous shortstories and poems, and Gifts of Age in 1985.

Her books addressed the issues closest to her heart: motherhood and women's struggle between the isolation of traditional female roles and the loneliness of the fight for social equality. Painter advocated the autobiography, and its preliminary form, the diary, as a means by which to illuminate the universal secrets of life. In 1965, Painter shared her own diary. Then, she and Mary Jane Moffat paid tribute to the literary genre of the diary with Revelations: Diaries of Women in 1974 for revealing the long neglected histories of women.

Painter's work reflects West Coast literary world of the 1960s and 1970s, which challenged the publishing establishment of New York City. In her interview with Joan Henriksen, she dismissed the New York publishers as far behind everything that's the best in writing today. ( St.Louis Dispatch, November 28, 1971.)

Painter's work, nevertheless, withstood the tests of time. In the 1980s, Seeing Things and Who Made the Lamb were republished. As she wrote in the foreword of the 1988 edition of Who Made the Lamb, many of the issues raised in the 1960s, like single motherhood, abortion, and women's right to equality, still challange American society decades later.

From the guide to the Charlotte Painter Papers, 1955-1992, (Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Charlotte Painter Papers, 1955-1992 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Cheuse, Alan. Papers of Alan Cheuse [manuscript], 1992-1996. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Painter, Charlotte. Charlotte Painter papers, 1955-2004. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn A tribute to Wallace Stegner : videotape, 1993 Mar. 26. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Granville Hicks Papers, 1906-1980 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Baez, Joan. person
associatedWith Baez, Joan. person
associatedWith Baez, Joan, 1913. person
associatedWith Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992. person
associatedWith Carver, Raymond. person
associatedWith Carver, Raymond, 1938-1988. person
associatedWith Cheuse, Alan. person
associatedWith Child, Julia. person
associatedWith Davies, Louise. person
associatedWith Dial Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Fielding, Dawson, 1930. person
associatedWith Fielding, Dawson, 1930. person
associatedWith Fisher, M. F. K. (Mary Frances Kennedy), 1908-1992. person
associatedWith Guérard, Albert J. (Albert Joseph), 1914- person
associatedWith Harper & Row, Publishers. corporateBody
associatedWith Hayes, Margaret Calder, 1896- person
associatedWith Henriksen, Joan. person
associatedWith Henriksen, Joan. person
associatedWith Hicks, Granville, 1901-1982 person
associatedWith Houston, James D. person
associatedWith Huckle, Patricia, 1937- person
associatedWith Janeway, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Janeway, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Krim, Seymour, 1922- person
associatedWith Little, Brown and Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Macmillan Publishing Company. corporateBody
associatedWith McGraw Publishing Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Moffat, Mary Jane. person
associatedWith Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977. person
associatedWith Nissenson, Hugh. person
associatedWith Olsen, Tillie. person
associatedWith Olsen, Tillie. person
associatedWith PEN Syndicated Fiction Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Random House (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Read, Herbert, 1893-1968. person
associatedWith Robertson, Carolyn. person
associatedWith Robertson, Carolyn. person
associatedWith Scowcroft, Richard. person
associatedWith Sommers, Tish. person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
associatedWith Yolla Bolly Press. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Bay Area.
California--San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco.
California.
Subject
American poetry--20th century
Aging
American literature--20th century
Women authors, American
Women and literature
Women authors
Aged women
Authors and publishers
Women college teachers
Women authors--San Francisco Bay Area (Calif)
Older women
Pregnancy
Motherhood
Occupation
Function

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Birth 1926

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