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In a Farther Country

PDF Charles William Goyen was an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet, editor, and teacher. Born in a small town in East Texas, these roots would influence his work for his entire life.

In World War II he served as an officer aboard an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific, where he began work on one of his most important and critically acclaimed books, The House of Breath. After the war and through the 1950s he published short stories, collections of stories, other novels, and plays. He never achieved commercial success in America, but his translated work was highly regarded in Europe. During his life he could not completely support himself through his writing, so at various times he took work as an editor and teacher at several prominent universities. At one point he did not write fiction for several years, calling it a “relief” to not have to worry about his writing.

Major themes in his work include home and family, place, time, sexuality, isolation, and memory. His style of writing is not easily categorized, and he eschewed labels of genre placed on his works.

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