Powell had a brilliant mind and a keen wit and her humor was never at a finer pitch than in her diaries. And yet her story is a poignant one – a son emotionally and mentally impaired, a household of too much alcohol and never enough money, and an artistic career that, if not a failure, fell far short of the success she craved. All is recorded here – along with working sketches for her novels, and often revealing portraits of her many friends (a literary who’s who of her period) – in her always unique style and without self-delusion. With the publication of Tim Page’s biography of Powell planned for this fall, and with all of her best works now back in print, it would appear that Dawn Powell has clearly ‘arrived’ to take her deserved place in American letters. And her remarkable Diaries will stand as one of her finest literary achievements.
"The struggle chronicled in The Diaries of Dawn Powell is as brave and feisty a story as any to be found in the novels that made her Ernest Hemingway’s ‘favorite living writer."--James Wilcox, Elle Magazine
"One of the outstanding literary finds of the last quarter-century . . . a book in a thousand." -- New York Times Book Review
"Reads like a mini-book of mini-stories – one compact, perfectly formed arrative followed by another" -- Bill Buford in The New Yorker