Coleman Dowell

Coleman Dowell

Coleman Dowell (1925-1985) was born and raised in Kentucky. After serving in the US Army Medical Corps during World War II, Dowell found his way to New York, where he worked as a typist, model and songwriter for Broadway musicals and television. After becoming disillusioned with the theater, Dowell turned to fiction and received the admiration and praise of writers like John Hawkes, Gilbert Sorrentino and Tennessee Williams.

Too Much Flesh and Jabez

Fiction by Coleman Dowell

Too Much Flesh and Jabez, Coleman Dowell’s fourth book, is a boldly erotic novel about an overly endowed young Kentucky farmer, his painfully inhibited wife, and an outrageously provocative teen-age boy. Set amid the rigorous years of the Second World War, with the pressures of maximum production needs countered by a minimum of available farmhands, it is an authentic depiction of the way of life of millions of Americans on the home front.…
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Mrs. October Was Here

Fiction by Coleman Dowell

Readers of the New Directions anthologies will have some familiarity with the work of Coleman Dowell, three of whose remarkable short stories were published in ND26, 27, and 28. But with the publication of his second novel, Mrs. October Was Here, the vast range of his talents and imagination is strikingly underscored. The action of Dowell’s satirical American fantasy––like some of our dreams, both comic and frightening––takes place “out beyond the limits of the twentieth century,” in “an outpost called Tasmania, Ohio.…
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… the level of craft and breadth of emotions available to Dowell as a writer is dizzying. … The syntax, spun from Brontë as much as Faulkner, forges in the power of its obsession something beyond the recognized parameters of Southern fiction.

—Bradford Morrow

[In Dowell’s work] the reader encounters teeming, charged emotions, dark and active with pain.

New York Times
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