Dillon, Millicent.

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American author, best known for her biography of playwright/author Jane Bowles.

From the description of Papers, 1905-1990 (bulk 1935-1986). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122640490

Millicent Dillon was born Millicent Gerson in New York City on May 24, 1925. Upon receiving a degree in physics from Hunter College in 1944, she held a series of technical-scientific positions. She worked as a junior physicist on a government project at Princeton University from 1944-45. In 1946, she worked as a technical assistant for Standard Oil Company, and she again served as an assistant physicist on a government project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during the following year. From 1947-48, she served as a staff writer for the Association of Scientists for Atomic Education in New York and then worked as a physicist at Northrup Aircraft. From 1949-52, she worked as a caseworker for a social welfare program in Hawthorne, California. At the age of 40, Dillon enrolled in the creative writing program at San Francisco State University. After receiving a master's degree in 1966, she taught creative writing as a professor of English at Foothill College in Los Altos, California, for five years. From 1974 to 1983 she was an academic writer for the Stanford University News and Publications office. Since 1983 Dillon has been a freelance writer in fiction, biography, and drama.

Dillon is best known for her works concerning writers Jane and Paul Bowles. Among these are a biography A Little Original Sin: The Life and Works of Jane Bowles (1981); a collection of letters, Out in the World: Selected Letters of Jane Bowles 1935-1970 (1985); and a biography You Are Not I: A Portrait of Paul Bowles (1998). She also edited The Viking Portable Paul and Jane Bowles (1994). Her other works include Baby Perpetua and Other Stories (short stories, 1971); The One in the Back is Medea, (novel, 1973); After Egypt: Isadora Duncan and Mary Cassatt (biography, 1990); The Dance of the Mothers (novel, 1991); Harry Gold (novel, 2000); four plays; and additional short stories, essays, and reviews in numerous publications. She is the recipient of a number of honors and awards, including five O. Henry awards in fiction. She also received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Additional information about Millicent Dillon may be found in Contemporary Authors New Revision Series (Gale Research Company, 1984).

Jane Auer Bowles was an author who published only one novel, Two Serious Ladies (1943); one play, In the Summer House (1954); and a book of short stories, Plain Pleasures (1966). The Collected Works of Jane Bowles (1966) combined her works in one volume. My Sister's Hand in Mine (1978) is an expanded edition of The Collected Works . A posthumously published collection of stories and letters, Feminine Wiles, appeared in 1976.

The only child of Sidney and Claire Stajer Auer, Jane Stajer Auer was born February 22, 1917, in New York City. The Auer family moved to Woodmere, Long Island, when Jane was ten years old. Upon her father's death in 1930, Jane and her mother returned to New York City. In 1932, they moved to Leysin, Switzerland, for Jane to receive treatment for tuberculosis of the knee. After returning to New York in 1934, Jane decided to be a writer; her first work, Le Phaéton Hypocrite (manuscript lost), was completed in 1936. Jane married the writer-composer Paul Bowles on February 21, 1938. Following their marriage, they travelled to Latin America and Europe and briefly resided in New York. After 1948, they lived in Tangier, Morocco, but continued to make frequent visits to Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Although both were homosexual and they often lived apart, the Bowleses' marriage endured until Jane's death in 1973. Among their wide circle of friends and acquaintances were literary, musical, and theatrical figures, such as Tennessee Williams, Libby Holman, William S. Burroughs, Peggy Guggenheim, and Virgil Thomson. Another important figure in Jane Bowles's life was her Arab housekeeper and lover, Cherifa.

Jane Bowles's active period as a writer only lasted for about ten years; she had always experienced difficulty in writing, but by 1950 this difficulty, worsened by alcohol, had become a complete writer's block. In 1957, at the age of 39, Jane Bowles suffered a severe stroke which left her with acute aphasia and vision impairment. She made several attempts at writing but was unable to complete any work. She also became heavily dependent on alcohol and prescription drugs. By 1967, her mental and physical health had deteriorated so that Paul Bowles placed her in a psychiatric hospital in Málaga, Spain. The following year she was moved to the Clínica de los Angeles in Málaga. In 1969, she returned to Tangier for four months but had to be readmitted to the convent hospital. She became increasingly blind and unresponsive before she died on May 4, 1973. More information about Jane Bowles may be found in Millicent Dillon's A Little Original Sin: The Life and Works of Jane Bowles (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1981).

Paul Frederick Bowles, who was born December 30, 1910, in New York City, was the only child of Claude Dietz and Rena Winnewisser Bowles. Bowles began writing short stories and composing music as a child, and he was only a teenager when his surrealist poetry was published in the magazine transition . Bowles briefly attended the University of Virginia but dropped out in 1929 and moved to Paris. This began over forty years of nearly constant traveling for Bowles, who once said of himself that he was addicted to movement. He returned to the University of Virginia in the spring of 1930, but left again after one semester to study music under Aaron Copland. In 1931, Bowles returned to Europe. From Paris he went to Berlin and then, at Gertrude Stein's suggestion, he went to Tangier, Morocco, for a time. After returning to the United States, Bowles studied with Virgil Thomson. In 1937, Bowles met author and playwright Jane Auer; they were married the following year. The Bowleses eventually settled in Tangier, although both travelled often throughout North Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. At one point Paul even owned Taprobane, an island in Sri Lanka.

Paul Bowles became a celebrated composer during the 1940s, providing the musical scores for such noted plays as My Heart's in the Highlands (1940), South Pacific (1943), and The Glass Menagerie (1945). He also composed the scores for ballets, including Yankee Clipper . At the same time, Bowles wrote travel books on America, Mexico, France, India, and North Africa. From 1942-45, he worked as a music critic for the New York Herald-Tribune . He wrote translations from French and Spanish for View, and his translation of Jean-Paul Sartre's Huis Clos was published as No Exit in 1946. After reading his wife's Two Serious Ladies (1943), Bowles was inspired to write fiction. He contributed short stories to Harper's Bazaar, View, Mademoiselle, and Partisan Review . Bowles's first novel, The Sheltering Sky (1949), was a best-seller, and it remains his most critically acclaimed work. Over the next decade, Bowles wrote three more novels and developed a reputation as an existential novelist. In 1956, he began translating Moroccan literature. In the 1960s and 1970s, Bowles primarily translated Moghrebi novels, short stories, and folk tales in collaboration with Mohammed Mrabet. He also returned to writing poetry. In 1970, he founded the literary magazine Antaeus with Daniel Halpern. Jane Bowles's mental and physical health deteriorated after she suffered a stroke in 1957, and she spent the final years of her life in a hospital in Spain before dying in 1973. During those years, Paul Bowles ceased to write fiction. In the years since his wife's death, Paul Bowles has remained in Morocco; he has received two NEH fellowships and has begun writing fiction again. More information about Paul Bowles may be found in his autobiography Without Stopping (Putnam, 1972).

The HRC purchased a portion of the Millicent Dillon papers in 1990 and received the remainder of the collection as a gift from Dillon in 1991.

From the guide to the Millicent Dillon Papers TXRC92-A25., 1905-1990, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Millicent Dillon, Addition to Her Papers, 1963-2002 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library.
referencedIn The Review of Contemporary Fiction/Dalkey Archive Press : records, 1980-1990 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
creatorOf Dillon, Millicent G. Short stories : Five sardonyx / by Millicent G. Dillon. San Francisco State University Library, J Paul Leonard Library
referencedIn Review of Contemporary Fiction / Dalkey Archive Press : records, 1980-1988. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Dillon, Millicent. Papers, 1905-1990 (bulk 1935-1986). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Millicent Dillon Papers TXRC92-A25., 1905-1990 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ashbery, John. person
associatedWith Ashbery, John. person
associatedWith Beauvoir, Simone de, 1908- person
associatedWith Beauvoir, Simone de, 1908-1986. person
associatedWith Bissinger, Karl. person
associatedWith Bissinger, Karl. person
associatedWith Bohning, Elizabeth Stafford (Edrop), 1915- person
associatedWith Bowles, Jane Auer, 1917-1973. person
associatedWith Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. person
associatedWith Brown, Andreas. person
associatedWith Brown, Andreas. person
associatedWith Carver, Raymond. person
associatedWith Carver, Raymond. person
associatedWith Chace, William M. person
associatedWith Charhadi, Driss ben Hamed. person
associatedWith Charhadi, Driss ben Hamed. person
associatedWith Cherifa. person
associatedWith Cherifa. person
associatedWith Codman, Florence. person
associatedWith Codman, Florence. person
associatedWith Copland, Aaron, 1900- person
associatedWith Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990. person
associatedWith Davie, Donald. person
associatedWith Davie, Donald. person
associatedWith Dewson, James. person
associatedWith Dewson, James. person
associatedWith Diamond, David, 1915- person
associatedWith Fainlight, Ruth. person
associatedWith Fainlight, Ruth. person
associatedWith Farrar, Straus & Giroux. corporateBody
associatedWith Farrar, Straus & Giroux. corporateBody
associatedWith Faulkner, Robert E. F. person
associatedWith Faulkner, Robert E. F. person
associatedWith Fuhs, Claire. person
associatedWith Fuhs, Claire. person
associatedWith Gerofi, Isabelle. person
associatedWith Gerofi, Isabelle. person
associatedWith Grissman, Carla. person
associatedWith Grissman, Carla. person
associatedWith Groffsky, Maxine. person
associatedWith Groffsky, Maxine. person
associatedWith Grosser, Maurice, 1903-1986 person
associatedWith Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898- person
associatedWith Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979. person
associatedWith Gysin, Brion. person
associatedWith Gysin, Brion. person
associatedWith Halpern, Daniel, 1945- person
associatedWith Hamill, Katharine. person
associatedWith Hamill, Katharine. person
associatedWith Harper & Row, Publishers. corporateBody
associatedWith Hawkes, John. person
associatedWith Hawkes, John. person
associatedWith Henry, Rex. person
associatedWith Henry, Rex. person
associatedWith Herbert, David, 1927- person
associatedWith Herbert, David, 1927-1996. person
associatedWith Highsmith, Patricia, 1921- person
associatedWith Hoershelman, Natasha Von. person
associatedWith Hoershelman, Natasha Von. person
associatedWith Holman, Libby. person
associatedWith Holman, Libby. person
associatedWith Holt, Rinehart and Winston, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith John O'Brien person
associatedWith Lerman, Leo, 1914- person
associatedWith Lerman, Leo, 1914- person
associatedWith Levy, Miriam Fligelman. person
associatedWith Levy, Miriam Fligelman. person
associatedWith Lewis, Dione. person
associatedWith Lewis, Dione. person
associatedWith MacMillan, George. person
associatedWith MacMillan, George. person
associatedWith Malin, Irving. person
associatedWith Malin, Irving. person
associatedWith McBey, Marguerite. person
associatedWith McBey, Marguerite. person
associatedWith McCarthy, Mary, 1912- person
associatedWith McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967 person
associatedWith McCullough, Frances Monson, 1939- person
associatedWith Merrill, James Ingram. person
associatedWith Merrill, James Ingram. person
associatedWith Miller, Jeffrey, 1943- person
associatedWith Mrabet, Mohammed, 1940- person
associatedWith National Endowment for the Humanities. corporateBody
associatedWith Purdy, James. person
associatedWith Purdy, James. person
associatedWith Roditi, Edouard. person
associatedWith Roditi, Edouard. person
associatedWith Rorem, Ned, 1923- person
associatedWith Roux, Yvonne. person
associatedWith Roux, Yvonne. person
associatedWith Sager, Gordon. person
associatedWith Sager, Gordon. person
associatedWith Sillitoe, Alan. person
associatedWith Sillitoe, Alan. person
associatedWith Smith, Oliver, 1918- person
associatedWith Smith, Oliver, 1918- person
associatedWith Sorensen, Virginia, 1912-1991. person
associatedWith Sorensen, Virginia Eggertsen, 1912- person
associatedWith Stevens, Roger L. person
associatedWith Stewart, Lawrence D. (Lawrence Delbert), 1926- person
associatedWith Temsamany, Mohammed. person
associatedWith Temsamany, Mohammed. person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896- person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. person
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
associatedWith Vursell, Hal D. person
associatedWith Vursell, Hal D. person
associatedWith Wanklyn, Christopher. person
associatedWith Wanklyn, Christopher. person
associatedWith Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983 person
associatedWith Wood, Audrey, 1905- person
associatedWith Yeager, Ira H., 1900- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City
Málaga (Spain)
Leysin, Switzerland
Subject
TXRCMSS
Bowles, Paul, 1910-
Authors, American
Bowles, Jane Auer, 1917-1973
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1925

Americans

English,

French

Information

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