The University of Wisconsin Press

Biography / Gay & Lesbian Interest / American Literature


Glenway Wescott Personally
A Biography
Jerry Rosco

• Finalist for a Lambda Literary Award
• Stonewall Honor Book, American Library Association

"[Rosco] sets forth clearly the public triumphs and private sufferings experienced during this long and interesting life. A biography of a 'minor' writer such as Wescott is always a labor of love and readers can only be grateful to Rosco for his curiosity and eloquence."—Edmund White, The New York Review of Books

As a writer, Glenway Wescott (1901–1987) left behind several novels, including The Grandmothers and The Pilgrim Hawk, noted for their remarkable lyricism. As a literary figure, Wescott also became a symbol of his times. Born on a Wisconsin farm in 1901, he associated as a young writer with Hemingway, Stein, and Fitzgerald in 1920s Paris and subsequently was a central figure in New York's artistic and gay communities. Though he couldn't finish a novel after the age of forty-five, he was just as famous as an arts impresario, as a diarist, and for the company he kept: W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Marianne Moore, Somerset Maugham, E. M. Forster, Joseph Campbell, and scores of other luminaries.

In Glenway Wescott Personally, Jerry Rosco chronicles Wescott's long and colorful life, his early fame and later struggles to write, the uniquely privileged and sometimes tortured world of artistic creation. Rosco sensitively and insightfully reveals Wescott's private life, his long relationship with Museum of Modern Art curator Monroe Wheeler, his work with sex researcher Alfred Kinsey that led to breakthrough findings on homosexuality, and his kinship with such influential artists as Jean Cocteau, George Platt-Lynes, and Paul Cadmus.

"Wescott's life and career are important to American literature and to the history of changing sexual mores in America. [This book] should take its place alongside Carlos Baker's Ernest Hemingway, Mark Schorer's Sinclair Lewis, and Philip Herring's Djuna [Barnes] as the definitive treatment."—Sargent Bush, Jr., author of The Writings of Thomas Hooker: Spiritual Adventure in Two Worlds

Jerry Rosco is a writer and editor and the coeditor of Continual Lessons: The Journals of Glenway Wescott 19371955. He lives in New York City.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Rosco's book is illustrated with a black and white photo of Wescott relaxing in a chair.

March 2010

LC: 2001005410 PS
328 pp.    6 x 9   
28 b/w photos

Book icon
Paper $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-17734-8
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout

"Fluently anecdotal and analytical, Rosco’s
engrossing biography of this seminal man of letters neatly fills a gap in literary and gay


"More than a biography of an unjustly ignored American writer, Rosco’s work portrays a fascinating panorama of the evolution of America's gay artistic community."
Library Journal

Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated December 29, 2012

© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System