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Giroux and Merton: One of the great literary friendships of the 20th century

The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton Edited and Annotated by Patrick Samway, S.J. Foreword by Jonathan Montaldo “This volume provides Thomas Merton readers with a unique perspective on his development as a published author and a deepened appreciation of Robert Giroux’s role in fostering that development. The book is both a lively and […]

The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton
Edited and Annotated by Patrick Samway, S.J.
Foreword by Jonathan Montaldo

“This volume provides Thomas Merton readers with a unique perspective on his development as a published author and a deepened appreciation of Robert Giroux’s role in fostering that development. The book is both a lively and enjoyable read and a significant resource for students and scholars researching various aspects of Merton’s prolific writing career. It will lead to new perspectives on and to a more nuanced understanding of the development of Merton’s wide-ranging interests in monastic life and religious renewal, in social and political issues, in interreligious dialogue and literary criticism, and in numerous other fields.” —Patrick F. O’Connell, editor of Thomas Merton: Selected Essays

From the time they first met at Columbia College in the mid-1930s, Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton became friends, especially after Giroux became Merton’s editor for The Seven Storey Mountain in 1948. Their correspondence, never before published, extends from Giroux’s acceptance of Merton’s important spiritual autobiography until a few months before Merton’s death in December 1968. As editor-in-chief at Harcourt, Brace, & Company and then at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Giroux edited twenty-six of Merton’s books and served as an adviser to Merton as he dealt with unexpected problems with his religious superiors.

With unparalleled access not only to the materials gathered here but to Giroux’s unpublished talks about Merton, Patrick Samway, S.J., chronicles the personal and collaborative relationship that brought some of Merton’s most important writings to his readers. The thought, care, and good judgment that Giroux applied to each of Merton’s books helped to make Merton one of the most successful American spiritual writers of the twentieth century.

Patrick Samway, S.J., professor emeritus of English at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, is the author or editor/coeditor of twelve books, including Walker Percy: A Life, selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the notable books of 1997.

The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton
Edited and Annotated by Patrick Samway, S.J. ● Foreword by Jonathan Montaldo
Publication Date: August 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-268-01786-6 / Paperback $29.00
eISBN: 978-0-268-09288-7
ebook formats: Adobe PDF / ePUB / Kindle / Nook
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