Identified individuals are represented by a biographical sketch, a list of connections to other signatures, and, in most cases, an artifact from the Ransom Centers collections. Help us identify more signatures by submitting your suggested identification.
The prolific novelist Robert Nathan (1894-1985) was educated at Harvard, where he was editor of the Harvard Monthly and became friends with John Dos Passos. After a brief stint in California, Nathan moved to Greenwich Village in 1920, just a year after the publication of his first novel. There he became an active participant in the Greenwich Village literary scene, where Stephen Vincent Benét and John V. A. Weaver numbered among his friends. Nathan enjoyed a long and prolific career as a writer, authoring more than forty novels, collections of essays and poems, and a screenplay. His most popular novel was Portrait of Jennie, published in 1940.
A letter from Robert Nathan to William A. Koshland with a carbon copy of Koshland's response, November 1956
This correspondence with Koshland, Nathan's editor at Alfred A. Knopf Inc., concerns the marketing techniques used to publicize Nathan's 1956 novel The Rancho of the Little Loves. Nathan published with Knopf from 1933 to 1971, and these items reveal the challenges inherent in a long relationship between writer and editor, across the high and low points of a literary career. Here, Nathan expresses frustration over his struggle to introduce fans of Portrait of Jennie to his later works.