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James Farl Powers Biography

(1917– ), The Prince of Darkness and Other Stories, The Presence of Grace, Morte D'Urban

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American novelist and short-story writer, born in Jacksonville, Illinois, educated at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Powers's writings are notable for their preoccupation with Catholicism, a theme that emerged in his first collection of short stories The Prince of Darkness and Other Stories (1947) and subsequently in a second collection, The Presence of Grace (1956). Morte D'Urban (1962), a novel, follows the fortunes of a Chicago priest, Father Urban, who tries to improve the financial position of his order, the Clementines, through a series of comically realized business contacts. Wheat That Springeth Green (1988) continues the exploration of the ambiguous relationship between faith and modernity. Powers has been much esteemed in Britain, particularly by Evelyn Waugh and John Wain who have written admiringly of his wit and mordancy.

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