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Special Collections Online at UT

David Madden Papers

Identifier: MS-3038

  • Staff Only

This collection contains manuscripts of novels and stories written by his friends, clients, and other writers who asked for Madden to evaluate and review their works.


  • 1990-2006

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


1.5 Linear Feet


This collection contains manuscripts of novels and stories written by Madden's friends, clients, and other writers who asked him to evaluate and review their works.

Biographical/Historical Note

Jerry David Madden was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on July 25, 1933, to James and Emile Merritt Madden. After he graduated high school in 1951, Madden entered the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before graduating, he left college for New York City and later joined the United States Merchant Marine. Upon leaving the Marine in 1953, he joined the army and was discharged in 1955. Madden then returned to the University of Tennessee and graduated with a BA in education in 1957. He later enrolled at San Francisco State University and earned an MA in creative writing in 1958. Shortly after graduation, Madden obtained a John Golden fellowship to attend the Yale Drama School, where he studied from 1959 to 1960. Madden’s first novel, The Beautiful Greed, was published in 1961 and based on his experience as a Merchant seaman.

Madden has written in several genres and his works include: Cassandra Singing, The Shadow Knows, and The New Orleans of Possibilities. Arguably his most well-known novel, The Suicide's Wife, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and made into a TV movie. In addition, Madden has published poems and short stories in Redbook, Playboy, and The Southern Review. His plays have won many state and national contests and several have been published. He also has an extensive collection of literary criticism, including Wright Morris: A Primer of the Novel and Harlequin’s Stick, Charlie's Cane. Madden has also written essays on several famous literary personalities – James Joyce, Flannery O'Connor, Emily Bronte, and Thomas Wolfe – and has edited several textbooks.

Although Madden has worked for a number of different institutions, he has spent the majority of his professional life at Louisiana State University (LSU). He began as the writer-in-residence in 1968, a position he held until 1992. He has also served LSU as the Director of the Creative Writing Program (1992-1994), Founding Director of the United States Civil War Center (1992-1999), and Donald and Velvia Crumbley Professor of Creative Writing (1999-).

Madden met his wife, Roberta Young Madden, while working for Iowa State Teacher's College's radio station. They were married in 1956, and have one son, Blake.


This collection consists of one series in two boxes:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Manuscripts and Reviews (alphabetical by author)

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated to Special Collections by David Madden.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA