The University of Wisconsin Press | Fall 2013 - page 11

“’A Visit to Priapus’ is a meditation on desire and art, a rueful, comic,
brutally honest consideration of sex and its human limitations.”
—From the foreword by Wendy Moffat, author of
A Great Unrecorded History:
A New Life of E. M. Forster
Just as E. M. Forster’s novel of gay love,
, remained unpublished through-
out his lifetime, Glenway Wescott’s long story “A Visit to Priapus” was also des-
tined to be a posthumous work, buried from 1938 until this century in Wescott’s
massive archive of manuscripts, journals, notebooks, and letters.
The autobiographical story is about a literary man, frustrated in love, who puts
aside his pride and makes a date with a young artist in Maine. Lavishly rendered
in Wescott’s elegant prose, the tale is explicit where it needs to be, but—as is typi-
cal of Wescott—it is filled with descriptive beauty and introspective lessons about
sex and sexuality, love and creativity.
Previously published in anthology form in the United Kingdom, “A Visit to
Priapus” is presented for the first time in book form in America, containing
previously uncollected stories, including three never before published. The result
is a candid portrayal of the gifted but enigmatic writer who was famous in youth
and remained a perceptive and compassionate voice throughout his long life.
Drawn together from midcentury literary journals and magazines of the 1920s
and 1930s, as well as from Wescott’s papers, the stories were inspired by his life,
from childhood to old age, from Wisconsin farm country to New York, London,
Germany, and Paris.
Glenway Wescott
(1901–87) is well remembered for his Midwest novels,
Apple of the Eye
The Grandmothers
, as well as his story collection
. He is the author of the classic short novel
The Pilgrim Hawk
and of
the World War II bestseller
Apartment in Athens
, in addition to two volumes of
essays and two volumes of journals.
Jerry Rosco
is the author of the biography
Glenway Westcott Personally
and the editor of
A Heaven of Words: Last Journals,
, both published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He lives in New
York City.
 LC: 2013010427 PS
200 PP. 5 ½ × 8 ¼
E-BOOK $21.95 T ISBN 978-0-299-29693-3
“’A Visit to Priapus’ is not only
a lost story—and one with a
scandalous, sexy theme—but also
a perfect example of the lost art
of storytelling itself. Wescott’s
observations are so beautifully
rendered you’ll never forget
—Matthew Rettenmund,
author of
Boy Culture
Of re l at ed int e re s t
Edited and with an introduction
by Jerry Rosco
“When a writer like Wescott is famous in
youth, it is the later years that are often
more fascinating.”—Jonathan Gathorne-
Hardy, author of
Sex the Measure of All
Things: A Life of Alfred C. Kinsey
LC: 2012037076 PS 314 PP. 5 ½ × 8 ¼
E-BOOK $19.95 T ISBN 978-0-299-29423-6
George Platt Lynes
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