Fun Facts Friday: James Agee

November 27, 2020

James Agee (27 September, 1909 – 16 May, 1955) was an award winning author, poet, screenwriter, film critic and journalist from Tennessee.

Fun Facts Friday: James AgeeBooks by James Agee*

  1. James Rufus Agee was more in Knoxville, TN in what today is the Fort Sanders neighborhood. The street he was born on was named James Agee Street in his honor.
  2. Hugh James Agee, the author’s father died in a car accident when his son was six years old.
  3. When young Mr. Agee attended the Saint Andrews school for Mountain Boys in Tennessee he developed a lifelong friendship with Father James Harold Flye, an Episcopal priest and history teacher.
  4. Father Flye and Mr. Agee corresponded throughout their lives, become confidants. After the author’s death, Father Flye published the letters in a 1962 book called The Letters of James Agee to Father Flye. The book was a critical success, lauded by many.
  5. After graduating from the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, Mr. Agee was admitted to Harvard College. His roommate was Robert Fitzgerald, soon to be a famous poet and critic.
  6. Mr. Agee worked as a reporter, writing for Fortune magazine, Time, and The Nation. In 1934 he published his only book of poetry called Permit Me Voyage.
  7. During the Great Depression (1936), Agee and photographer Walker Evans spent time with sharecroppers in Alabama. Even though Fortune chose not to run the article, it was later published in a 1841 book called Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.
  8. The article he wrote as a freelance writer for Life Magazine about silent movie stars Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Harry Langdon is credited with reviving the career of Mr. Keaton.
  9. Mr. Agee wrote a script for Chaplin, which went unproduced (it was only published in2005), but he is credited on two much respected movie: 1951’s The African Queen and 1955’s The Night of the Hunter. Unfortunately his alcoholism hurt this aspect of his career.
  10. He won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize, posthumously, for this novel A Death in the Family.

Books by James Agee*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affiliate account

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