Request Checked Items
University of Texas at Austin

Daniel Stern:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Stern, Daniel, 1928-2007
Title: Daniel Stern Papers
Dates: 1947-2007, undated
Extent: 22 boxes (9.24 linear feet), 3 galley folders (gf), 1 oversize folder (osf)
Abstract: The Daniel Stern Papers chiefly consist of manuscripts for his novels, short stories, and other writings, extensive literary and personal correspondence, and other materials pertaining to his career as an author and creative writing professor.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-05125
Language: English and French
Access: Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Gifts, 2009 (09-02-005G; 09-05-012G; 09-10-005G)
Processed by: Alison Clemens and Joan Sibley, 2012

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Born on January 18, 1928 in New York City, author Daniel Stern worked in advertising, film and television, and finally as a novelist, short story writer, and writing professor. He was raised in Manhattan's Lower East Side and in the Bronx and attended The High School of Art and Music. Upon graduation, Stern played cello with the Indianapolis Symphony. After a brief stint in the army, he returned to New York, where he pursued freelance writing and wrote jingles and copy for the McCann-Erickson advertising firm in the 1960s. Stern then worked in media promotion, rising to serve on the board of directors for Warner Brothers in the 1970s and as a vice president of CBS Entertainment in the 1980s.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Stern also published nine novels, including Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die (1963), one of the first novels about the Holocaust by an American, and The Suicide Academy (1968), which enjoyed widespread critical recognition. Stern began writing short stories in the 1980s and created what some have called a new kind of short story, the "the twice told tale." The stories in his collections–including Twice Told Tales (1989) and Twice upon a Time (1992)–center on revisiting, revising, and reinterpreting literary classics by other authors. His prose was described by Bernard Malamud as filled with poetry, conscientiousness, and verve of style.
After Stern left CBS in 1986, he briefly served as humanities director of the 92nd Street YMCA before accepting an offer to teach in the creative writing program at the University of Houston in 1992. He was named Cullen Distinguished Professor of English in 1993 and taught writing and also hosted a seminar on the literature of the Holocaust. Beginning in 1996, Stern also served as associate editor of Hampton Shorts, a literary magazine headquartered in the Hampton villages in New York. Stern died from complications following heart surgery on January 24, 2007 in Houston, survived by his wife Gloria and his son Eric.


"Daniel Stern."   Contemporary Authors Online, (accessed 13 April 2012).
Gathman, Roger. "Daniel Stern: Stranger than Fiction."   Publishers Weekly, 29 November 1999, (accessed 13 April 2012).
Martin, Douglas. "Daniel Stern, Short Story Writer, Dies at 79."   The New York Times, 26 January 2007, (accessed 13 April 2012).

Scope and Contents

The Daniel Stern Papers, 1947-2007 and undated, chiefly consist of manuscripts for his novels, short stories, and other writings, extensive literary and personal correspondence, and other materials pertaining to his career as an author and creative writing professor. Included are notes, journals, research materials, manuscript drafts and proofs for both published and unpublished works in several literary genres; clippings of book reviews; correspondence files; and career-related papers such as awards, contracts, employment files, publicity and teaching materials, as well as a few personal records. The papers are arranged in three series: I. Works, 1953-2006, undated; II. Correspondence, 1965-2007, undated; and III. Career and Personal Papers, 1947-2003, undated.
The Works series includes Stern's notes and journals, research material, manuscripts and proofs for his works, as well as associated correspondence, reader reports, review clippings, and publicity materials. Manuscripts for novels and short stories predominate, but also represented are essays; ideas and scripts for stage, television, and film; lectures and speeches; a number of book reviews written by Stern; work on a memoir of Hans Deutsch and his Holocaust experiences; and various writings about close associates such as Bernard Malamud and Elie Wiesel.
The materials in the Works series are organized alphabetically by work title with some genre groupings–such as essays and stories–interfiled. Within a particular title, multiple drafts of works are organized chronologically. The groupings for notes and stories often include a mix of notes and drafts which have been left intact so as not to disturb original context. However, when notes were clearly identifiable with separately filed works, those have been integrated.
The Correspondence series contains correspondence files as kept by Stern, alphabetically by correspondent. Outgoing correspondence, if present, is interfiled with incoming letters. These files document Stern's career as a novelist and short story writer, and as teacher at institutions such as Wesleyan University and the University of Houston and advertising and media executive for firms such as McCann Erickson, Warner Brothers, and CBS. Stern's correspondents are dominated by authors, agents, editors, and publishers, including Georges Borchardt, Helen Brann, William Goyen, James Jones, Frank Kermode, Ann Malamud, Bernard Malamud, AnaÏs Nin, Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel and many others. A complete Index of Correspondents–including any correspondence filed in other series–is included in this finding aid.
The Career and Personal Papers series contains material chiefly related to Stern's professional capacity as an author, but also includes materials documenting his career as an advertising and media executive, editor, and teacher of creative writing. Included are awards, biographical information and résumés, contracts, and publicity for readings and other public appearances, as well as files related to his advertising and media employment, and materials concerning his editorial work with Hampton Shorts and his teaching and related activities, chiefly at the University of Houston. Personal items include copies of his birth certificate and army discharge, birthday poems, photographs, and other memorabilia.

Related Material

Additional letters written by Daniel Stern are present in the Ransom Center's manuscript collections for William Goyen, James Jones, and Bernard Malamud.

Separated Material

Audio tapes containing Stern's research for a work to be entitled The Extraordinary Life of Hans Deutsch and his interview of Bernard Malamud for The Paris Review have been transferred to the Ransom Center's Sound Recordings Collection. Stern's copies of his own books and a memorial book for Bernard Malamud have been transferred to the Center's Library.

Index Terms


Kermode, Frank, 1919-2010
Malamud, Bernard
Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977
Ozick, Cynthia
Wiesel, Elie, 1928-


Authors, American
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in literature
Jewish authors

Container List