Mackinlay Kantor

Franklin Library Mackinlay Kantor books

Andersonville - Pulitzer Prize Classics - 1976


Author Mackinlay Kantor

Mackinlay Kantor (1904–1977) was an American author known for his prolific and diverse body of work, which encompassed novels, short stories, and historical fiction. Born on February 4, 1904, in Webster City, Iowa, Kantor's literary career spanned several decades and earned him critical acclaim and popular recognition for his storytelling prowess. Kantor's early years were marked by a passion for writing and a fascination with history. He began his career as a journalist, working for newspapers in his native Iowa before transitioning to fiction writing. His early novels explored themes of small-town life and the human experience, showcasing his keen observational skills and vivid storytelling.

In 1934, Kantor achieved literary success with the publication of his novel Long Remember, which depicts the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. The novel's detailed historical accuracy and immersive narrative style earned Kantor widespread praise and established him as a prominent voice in historical fiction. One of Kantor's most acclaimed works is Andersonville (1955), a novel that chronicles the experiences of Union prisoners held at the Confederate prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, during the Civil War. The novel, meticulously researched and rich in detail, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1956, cementing Kantor's reputation as a master storyteller and historian.

Throughout his career, Kantor demonstrated a remarkable versatility as a writer, tackling a wide range of subjects and genres. His works include westerns, mysteries, biographies, and even science fiction. Regardless of the genre, Kantor's writing was characterized by its authenticity, emotional depth, and keen insight into the human condition. In addition to his novels, Kantor was also a prolific short story writer, contributing to popular magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier's. His short stories often explored themes of love, loss, and the passage of time, showcasing his talent for crafting memorable characters and poignant narratives.

Mackinlay Kantor's literary legacy endures as a testament to his storytelling skill and his ability to capture the essence of American life and history. His works continue to be celebrated for their richness of detail, depth of emotion, and enduring relevance. Kantor passed away on October 11, 1977, but his contributions to American literature remain a cherished part of the literary canon.


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