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Garrett, George 1929–2008

Garrett, George 1929–2008

(George P. Garrett, George Palmer Garrett, George Palmer Garrett, Jr.)


See index for CA sketch: Born June 11, 1929, in Orlando, FL; died May 26, 2008, in Charlottesville, VA. Educator, novelist, poet, short-story writer, poet, biographer, screenwriter, critic, essayist, editor, and author. Garrett's academic career took him from New England to Florida, from Michigan to Texas. He taught at more than a dozen institutions, staying no longer than a few years at each, until he came to the University of Virginia in 1980. He remained there until 2000, retiring as the Henry Hoyns Professor of English. Garrett's writing career ranged widely as well, with recurring visits to every major genre of the craft until he had published nearly sixty books and dozens of short stories and poems. Though the major literary awards eluded him and his books rarely appeared in the best-seller lists, Garrett was warmly regarded and highly respected by his colleagues in all corners of the literary world. A man of modesty and good humor, Garrett was reportedly as proud of the Golden Turkey Award he received for his coauthored screenplay Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1966) as he was of the acclaim he earned for his trilogy of Elizabethan novels, which began with Death of the Fox: A Novel about Raleigh (1971) and ended nearly twenty years later with Entered from the Sun (1991). There were many other books between 1958 and 2004: novels and short-story collections, poetry, plays and screenplays, criticism and essay collections, biographies and other works of nonfiction, all of which he approached with serious intentions and finished with skill and integrity. Critics and colleagues alike praised Garrett for the originality of his concepts, his richly drawn characters, and his authentic depictions of the worlds in which his works are set. Garrett was named cultural laureate of Virginia in 1986 and poet laureate of Virginia in 2002; he won the Aiken-Taylor Award for American Poetry from the Sewanee Review in 1998. Garrett's later writings include Days of Our Lives Lie in Fragments: New and Old Poems, 1957-1997 (1998), Southern Excursions: Views on Southern Letters in My Time (2003), and the novel Double Vision (2004).



Contemporary Novelists, 7th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Contemporary Poets, 7th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.


Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2008, p. B7.

Washington Post, May 28, 2008, p. B7.

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