Collection ID: LMC 2404
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Collection context


Lish, Gordon.
The Lish mss., 1951-2017, consists of the correspondence, manuscripts, and papers of editor, writer, and teacher Gordon Lish, 1934- .
142 Boxes
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Lish mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Gordon Lish, 1934- , is an American literary editor and writer. He was born and raised in Hewlett, New York, and graduated from the University of Arizona. He became founder and editor of the avant-garde literary magazine Genesis West, and went on to serve as editor for Esquire from 1969-1977 and Alfred A. Knopf from 1977-1995. Known as "Captain Fiction," Lish mentored and championed several of the most prominent American authors of the second half of the 20th century, including Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo, Cynthia Ozick, Barry Hannah, Richard Ford, Amy Hempel, and T. Coraghessan Boyle. Lish is the author of Dear Mr. Capote, Peru, What I Know So Far, and other literary works. He is renowned for his writing seminars, held at many universities across the country as well as the Center for Fiction in New York City.

Scope and Content:

Correspondence is divided into Individual, General, Additional, Personal, and Esquire. Writings are divided into Other Authors, Gordon Lish, and Additional. The Other Authors subseries includes original drafts and proofs from the works of Carver, DeLillo, and numerous other notable authors. Within Lish's own subseries are proofs of the publication The Quarterly. Photographs include pictures of Lish, Raymond Carver, James Dickey, and Neal Cassady. Legal records include court transcripts and filings of Lish v. Harper's (1992), and a book agreement between Raymond Carver and McGraw-Hill. Audio-Visual materials include a videotape of Lish's appearance on The Dick Cavett Show and audiotapes of students in Lish's writing classes. The Miscellaneous series includes materials from Lish's writing workshop, and a list of Lish's published writings (1956-1987).

Acquisition information:
Acquired: 1991
Processing information:

Processed by Brenna Bychowski and Craig Simpson.

Completed in 2013


The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Newspaper Clippings; IV. Photographs; V. Artwork; VI. Legal; VII. Realia; VIII. Audio-Visual; IX. Miscellaneous; X. Additions

Physical location:
ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility)



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[Item], Lish mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452