MacKinlay Kantor

MacKinlay Kantor

MacKinlay Kantor (February 4, 1904October 11, 1977) was an American novelist and screenwriter who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1956 for his novel "Andersonville".

Kantor was born in Webster City, Iowa. He published his first poem at the age of 17, and at 18 he won a state story writing contest. His first novel, "Diversey", was about Chicago gangsters and was written in 1928, when the subject matter was contemporary. In the 1930s, Kantor first wrote about the American Civil War with his novel "Long Remember". Kantor had spoken with Civil War veterans when he was young, and he was an avid collector of first-hand narratives. "Long Remember" is one of the first realistic novels about the Civil War.

Kantor's long narrative poem in blank verse, "Glory for Me", published as a novella in 1945, provided the basis of the Academy Award winning film "The Best Years of Our Lives".

In 1955, Kantor wrote the grimly realistic and harrowing "Andersonville", a novel about the infamous Confederate prisoner of war camp in the Civil War.

He wrote over 30 novels in his lifetime, and he returned to the theme of the Civil War frequently, including "Gettysburg", "If the South Had Won the Civil War" and "Lee and Grant at Appomattox". His last novel was 1975's "Valley Forge". However, Kantor was by no means confined to historical fiction. A strong political conservative, Kantor co-wrote with Air Force General Curtis LeMay the latter's autobiography "Mission with LeMay" (1965).

His works were frequently adapted for films. It began with "The Voice of Bugle Ann" in 1936 and screen versions of "Happy Land" (1943), "Gentle Annie" (1944), and "Best Years of Our Lives" were notable successes. He wrote the screenplay for the noted "film noir" "Gun Crazy (aka Deadly Is the Female)" (1950), and an adaptation of his book "God and My Country" was filmed as "Follow Me, Boys!" by Disney in 1966. He appeared in the 1958 film "Wind Across the Everglades" as an actor.

In his 2007 interview with Oprah Winfrey, author Cormac McCarthy cited Kantor as a literary predecessor in the sparing use of punctuation.

External links

: [ Online biography] : [ IMDB page on Kantor] : [ Dissertation including material comparing Kantor's "Andersonville" to the author's Holocaust experiences]

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