Collection ID: LMC 2522
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Collection context


Daves, Joan
The Daves mss. consists of correspondence, ca. 1964-1978, of American literary agent Joan Daves, 1919-1997, with German authors.
1 Box (1 standard)
Materials are in German .
Preferred citation:

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


Biographical / Historical:

Joan Daves, 1919-1997, was a German-born literary agent. She escaped the Nazi regime in Berlin by fleeing to Paris and Britain before emigrating to the United States in 1940. Over the course of her career she worked for Interscience Publishers and Harper & Brothers before establishing her own agency in the 1950s. She dealt in serious international fiction and nonfiction and had several Nobel Prize-winning clients, including Heinrich Boll, Elias Canetti, Herman Hesse, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelly Sachs, and Gabriela Mistral.

Heinrich Böll, 1917-1985, was an author from Cologne, Germany. After spending his early life in various apprenticeships and conscripted military service, he decided to become a writer in 1947. He published his first novel, Der Zug war pünktlich (The Train Was on Time) in 1949. He won many awards, both in Germany and abroad, including the 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature. His work is considered part of the Trümmerliteratur ("rubble literature") movement which dealt with the fallout from World War II in Germany. Today he remains one of Germany's most widely-read authors.

Max Frisch, 1911-1991, was a Swiss dramatist and author. After working as a newspaper correspondent and journalist from 1933-1936, Frisch moved to Zurich to study architecture. He worked as an architect until 1955 when he decided to become a full-time writer. Among his works are autobiographical diary series such as Tagebuch 1946–1949 and Tagebuch 1966–1971, novels such as Homo Faber (1957), and plays such as Andorra (1961). His primary themes include identity, morality, and political commitment.

Günter Grass, 1927-2015, was a German author and artist. He was born in the Free City of Danzig (now part of Poland). He was drafted into military service as a teenager and was taken as a prisoner of war by US forces in 1945. After the war, he began his writing career. He is most famous for his "Danzig Trilogy" consisting of The Tin Drum (1959), Cat and Mouse (1961), and Dog Years (1963). Grass was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999. His work uses elements of magical realism to explore the effects of World War II on the people of Germany.

Nelly Sachs, 1891-1970, was a German Jewish poet and dramatist. In 1940, she fled to Sweden with her mother to escape the Nazi regime. The persecution of the Nazis left Sachs with lasting psychological damage, and she devoted much of her work to exploring the suffering of the Jewish people. Her most notable publications include her poetry collections in English translation O the Chimneys (1967) and The Seeker, and Other Poems (1970), and a play, Eli: A Mystery Play of the Sufferings of Israel (1951). She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966, along with novelist Shmuel Yosef Agnon.

Ernst Schnabel, 1913-1986, was a German author. He is most famous for his role in developing the radio documentary genre, also known as the "feature." He served as the director of the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) radio station from 1951 to 1955. In addition to his many radio productions, Schnabel is also the author of Anne Frank: A Portrait in Courage (1958).

Martin Walser, 1927- , is a German author. While studying for his doctorate in literature, he began his career writing radio plays for the Süddeutscher Rundfunk radio station. By 1953, his short stories had attracted the attention of the Group 47 writers group, and his first novel was published in 1957. Walser is one of Germany's most prolific and popular authors, having written dozens of best-selling novels. He has also won many awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, and the Nietszche Prize for his life's work.

Scope and Content:

The Daves mss. consists of correspondence, ca. 1964-1978, of American literary agent Joan Daves with German authors, particularly Heinrich Böll. Other correspondents include Max Frisch, Günter Grass, Nelly Sachs, Ernst Schnabel, and Martin Walser.

Acquisition information:
Purchase: 2005

This collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Physical location:
Lilly - Stacks



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

Indiana University Bloomington
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