Edmund Wilson Jr.
(May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer, literary critic
and journalist. He is widely regarded as one of the most important literary critics of the 20th century. Wilson began his career as a journalist, writing for publications such as ''Vanity Fair
'' and ''The New Yorker
''. He helped to edit ''The New Republic
'', served as chief book critic for ''The New Yorker'', and was a frequent contributor to ''The New York Review of Books
''. Wilson was the author of more than twenty books, including ''Axel's Castle
'', ''Patriotic Gore
'', and a work of fiction, ''Memoirs of Hecate County
''. He was a friend of many notable figures of the time, including F. Scott Fitzgerald
, Ernest Hemingway
, and John Dos Passos
. His scheme for a Library of America
series of national classic works came to fruition through the efforts of Jason Epstein
after Wilson's death. He was a two-time winner of the National Book Award and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.
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