Edel, Leon

Leon Edel, biographer, editor, critic (b at Pittsburgh, Pa 9 Sept 1907; d at Honolulu, Hawaii 5 Sept 1997). Edel's 5-volume life of Henry James, which appeared between 1953 and 1972, is one of the major literary biographies of its time. Raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Edel was educated at McGill and the Sorbonne and taught at New York University from 1953 to 1971 and the University of Hawaii from 1971 to 1978. Edel's celebrated biography draws on his encyclopedic knowledge of James's life and art, his keen psychological insight, and a supple narrative style. Edel has also written books on literary biography, literary psychology and the psychological novel; on James Joyce, Willa Cather (with E.K. BROWN) and Thoreau; and on Canadian writers John GLASSCO, Leo KENNEDY, A.M. KLEIN, A.J.M. SMITH, Morley CALLAGHAN and F.R. SCOTT. Edel has won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Biography (1963). His most recent works are Henry James: A Life (1985) and ed, Henry James: Selected Letters (1987).