James Salter had written two novels, The Hunters and The Arm of Flesh, but it was his third, remarkable novel, A Sport and a Pastime, together with his film Three and a script he had written for Downhill Racer, that in 1969 elicited a letter of admiration from a writer and critic he did not know–Robert Phelps. The correspondence that resulted went on to span two decades. The letters themselves are exceptionally alive, uninhibited, gossipy, touching, and brilliant. The success of Salter and the struggles of Phelps are fully explored by the writers themselves in an honest exchange only letters can divulge. Along with an insightful foreword by Michael Dirda, this book gives voice to a nearly forgotten figure and his friendship with a man he admired.
The Selected Letters of James Salter and Robert Phelps
List Price: $15.95
JAMES SALTER, born in 1925, grew up in New York City and was a career officer and air force pilot until the success of his first novel, The Hunters, led to a full-time writing career. He was the recipient of a PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Malamud Award, among others. He died on June 19, 2015, at ninety years old.