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Laurie Colwin Photograph by Nancy Crampton, circa 1980s-1990s
Collection Description & Creator Information
The papers consist of materials related to Charles Ruas's work as a literary editor and interviewer, including transcripts, audiocassette tapes, and CD-ROMs of Ruas's interviews with writers and artists, typescripts and galleys of work by writers Ruas edited, manuscript materials he collected, as well as photographs, correspondence, recordings, and publicity materials that he kept regarding many of the authors with whom he worked.
Interview transcripts and recordings contain Ruas's author interviews, which he conducted for WBAI-FM, WPS1 Art Radio, The Paris Review, and Conversations with American Writers, a book of interviews he published in 1985. Writers represented in the interviews include Toni Morrison, Carlos Fuentes, Michel Foucault, Eudora Welty, Susan Sontag, Truman Capote, Buckminster Fuller, Andy Warhol, Mario Vargas Llosa, Norman Mailer, E. L. Doctorow, Tennessee Williams, Marguerite Young, James Laughlin, and others. While interviews primarily cover specific works by authors and the writing process, some tapes also document readings of work by writers and other live performances. The papers also include typescript drafts and galleys of books by writers whose work Ruas edited, including his own editorial drafts, as well as copies and manuscript materials that were gifted to him by authors, including Susan Howe, his co-host for poetry programming at WBAI-FM, and Marguerite Young, whose epic biography Harp Song for a Radical: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs Ruas edited. Drafts and galleys of work by Helen Adam, Susan Sontag, and Djuna Barnes are also present, along with a group of dust jacket proofs. Also included are some correspondence, interview questions, photographs, and promotional materials from various writers Ruas interviewed or whose work he edited or reviewed.
A significant group of photographs of authors and artists was added to the collection beginning in 2016, including promotional photographs and portraits collected by Ruas, as well as shots from the WBAI recording studio. Some contact sheets and negatives are also present.
There are also some translations and other writings by Charles Ruas, including his translation of Death and the Labyrinth by Michel Foucault
A later addition includes a collection of family papers and photographs documenting the history of Tianjin, China, from the 1890s through the mid-20th century.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Nothing was removed from the collection during 2015-2021 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Special Requirements for Access:
This collection contains digital files, which may require specific software or hardware for access. Refer to our Tips on Accessing Born-Digital Content for information on how to render these file formats.
- Credit this material:
Laurie Colwin Photograph by Nancy Crampton; Charles Ruas Papers, C1372, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
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