Robert Flynn was born April 12, 1932, in Chillicothe, Texas. He graduated with a degree in drama from Baylor University in 1954. After teaching speech and drama for two years at Gardner-Webb College in North Carolina, Flynn returned to Baylor as an assistant professor in the Drama Department. When the Baptist university closed down the 1962 production of Long Days Journey Into Night, Flynn followed the entire drama faculty, headed by department chair Paul Baker, to Trinity University, where Flynn continues to hold a position in the English Department as writer-in-residence.
In 1964, Flynn adapted William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying to the stage in a play entitled Journey to Jefferson . The Dallas Theater Center Production directed by Paul Baker won a Special Jury Award at the Theater of Nations in Paris in 1964. In 1967, Knopf published Flynn's first novel, North to Yesterday, a hilarious traildriving adventure that is "at the same time . . . an ungentle satire on the foolishness of those who live in the past as well as the blindness of those who turn their backs on it." (Garfield 38) This was followed by two other works published by Knopf In the House of the Lord (1969), The Sounds of Rescue, the Signs of Hope (1970), and by Wanderer Springs (1987), published by Texas Christian University Press. Flynn has published two collections of short stories, Seasonal Rain (1986), and Living with the Hyenas (1995).
Flynn had temporarily dropped out of college to serve two years with the Marines during the Korean War. In 1970 after many years in academia, he sought out a position as a war correspondent to Vietnam, eventually getting his credentials through True Magazine . Flynn spent two months in Vietnam and was profoundly affected by the experience. He ultimately wrote a memoir, A Personal War in Vietnam, published in 1989 and a novel, The Last Klick, published in 1994.
Two stories in Seasonal Rain were winners in the NEA/PEN Syndicated Fiction Project. Wanderer Springs won a Spur Award from Western Writers of America and North to Yesterday won a Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Bibliography: Garfield, Brian, Saturday Evening Post, July 22, 1967: 38.
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