University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Donald Barthelme Literary Papers

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Barthelme, Donald
Title: Donald Barthelme Literary Papers
Dates: 1956-2001
Abstract: Donald Barthelme was an experimental short story writer and novelist who contributed frequently to The New Yorker magazine in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He remains best known for his classic collection Sixty Stories. Barthelme served as director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston for many years. The collection contains typescript drafts, galley proofs, and page proofs of Barthelme's work, correspondence with fellow writers, and other materials related to Barthelme's writing and teaching career.
Identification: 2002-007
Quantity: 29 boxes
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Biographical Note

Donald Barthelme was born in Philadelphia in 1931 to parents Donald Barthelme Sr. and Helen (Bechtold) Barthelme. In 1932, the family moved to Houston, where Donald Barthelme Sr. developed an architectural practice and taught at the University of Houston and Rice University. Barthelme had four younger siblings: Joan (born 1932), Peter (born 1938), Frederick (born 1943), and Steven (born 1947).

Barthelme enrolled at the University of Houston in 1949, where he took courses in journalism, literature, creative writing, and philosophy. He became a reporter, critic, and editor for the school's newspaper, The Cougar.

In July 1951, he left the University of Houston for a job at the Houston Post, where he reviewed movies, plays, and concerts. From July 1953 to December 1954 he served in Korea, writing for the 2nd Infantry Division's official publication. Following his return to Houston, Barthelme took a public relations job at the University of Houston. There he founded and became editor of the interdisciplinary journal Forum. In 1961, Barthelme became acting director of the Contemporary Arts Museum. The following year he moved to New York City to edit a new journal of art and literature called Location.

In 1961, Barthelme's short story "The Darling Duckling at School" (later renamed "Me and Mrs. Mandible") appeared in the journal Contact. Inspired by Samuel Beckett, Barthelme rejected the constraints of traditional plot, setting, and character development in favor of verbal collages full of absurdity and wit. In 1963, Barthelme published the story "L'lapse" in the New Yorker, quickly becoming a regular contributor.

In 1964 Barthelme released his first collection of stories, Come Back, Dr. Caligari. From that point on, he stayed at the forefront of American literature for three decades. Barthelme published nine more story collections, and 129 stories and "casuals" in the New Yorker. Always innovative, he created "collage stories" that combined images and text, and "dialogue stories" in which two disembodied voices alternate in conversation. He also published three novels - Snow White, The Dead Father, and Paradise. In 1972 he released a children's book, The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine, winning the National Book Award for Children's Literature.

Barthelme remains best known for Sixty Stories, a 1981 anthology of his finest work from the sixties and seventies. Sixty Stories was nnominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 1982.

Donald Barthelme taught creative writing at City College in New York from 1974-75. In 1979, he was invited to teach in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston. Initially he taught in Houston one semester a year, while continuing to live in New York City. In 1983, Barthelme moved to Houston to become a full-time professor. A beloved teacher, he eventually became director of the Creative Writing Progam, a position he held until his death.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains typescript drafts, galley proofs, and page proofs of Donald Barthelme's novels, collected works, short stories, and other writings, plus collages and collage stories created by Barthelme. One of the richest aspects of the collection is the large set of letters and cards from Barthelme's writing friends and colleagues. The collection also includes about a dozen photographs of Barthelme. In addition, material related to Barthelme's teaching career is incorporated, notably student works that Barthelme received during his years in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston.

Each series is prefaced by a detailed description.


Open for research.


Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Photocopy decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders.

Index Terms

Terms are either Library of Congress Subject Headings or taken from local sources.

Subjects (Persons)

Angell, Roger
Barth, John, 1930-
Barthelme, Donald
Beattie, Ann
Hijuelos, Oscar
Lowry, Beverly.
Paley, Grace
Percy, Walker, 1916-1990
Powell, Padgett


Authors, American--20th century
Experimental fiction, American
Postmodernism (Literature)--United States


Page proofs
Galley proofs

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Donald Barthelme Literary Papers, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries


This collection was acquired in 2002 from Marion Barthelme.

A few miscellaneous items already owned by the University of Houston Libraries were added to the collection. Typescripts of the short stories "City Life," "City Life II," and "A Dream" were purchased from Joseph the Provider Books in the 1980s. Four typescripts of Donald Barthelme's Paris Review interview, one proof sheet of the interview introduction, and letters from George Plimpton and J.D. O'Hara were also purchased from Joseph the Provider Books in the 1980s. A speech on writers delivered at University of Houston in 1974 was purchased from Detering Book Gallery in 1979. The non-fiction piece "Woman is an imaginary being" was transferred from the Donald Barthelme Forum Collection. The Houston Chronicle article "Donald Barthelme: Serious Writer at Play" was donated by Michael Berryhill in 2005.

Processed by

Julie Grob, 2005

Detailed Description of the Collection


Works by Barthelme [1959]-1990

Novels and Collected Works, 1970-1990
This series traces the preparatory stages for Barthelme's published works, which were primarily collections of short stories or novels. The material related to a single work may include typescripts, page layouts, galley proofs, page proofs, dust jackets, and other formats. Materials are arranged in order of their production, beginning with typescripts and ending with dust jackets. Some of the short story collections include bound volumes which collected typescripts, photocopied drafts, and the printed pages of previously published stories together. Prior to 1975, Barthelme rarely kept early drafts of his work.
Amateurs, 1976
Box Folder
1 1 Copyedited typescript, photocopied, and printed pages, with corrections (bound)
2 Title page layout
24 Galley proofs, with corrections
Box Folder
29 1 Page proof, partial
City Life, 1970
Box Folder
1 4 Carbon copy of typescript and printed pages, with corrections
5 Copyedited typescript and printed pages, with corrections (bound)
6 Paste up
7 Page proofs, author's, photocopied, with corrections
8 Page proofs, printer's, with artwork
The Dead Father, 1975
Box Folder
1 10 Early typescript, photocopied
11 Typescript with corrections, with note (bound)
12-13 Typescript, photocopied, with corrections
14 Layout pages, with partial photocopied typescript
Box Folder
2 1-2 Copyedited typescript, photocopied, with corrections
24 Page proofs, uncut
Box Folder
2 3 Dust jacket
Forty Stories, 1987
Box Folder
2 4 Table of contents
5-7 Typescript, photocopied, and printed pages, with corrections
8-9 Typescript, photocopied, and printed pages, with additions and corrections
10 Typescript, photocopied, and printed pages
11 Dust jacket
Great Days, 1979
Box Folder
2 12 Copyedited typescript, photocopied, and printed pages, with corrections; with layout and dust jacket (bound)
24 Galley proofs
Galley proofs
2 Dust jacket
Guilty Pleasures, 1974
Box Folder
2 14 Copyedited printed, typescript, and photocopied pages with corrections; with title page layout (bound)
15 Galley proofs, photocopied
16 Camera-ready copy for Delta Edition
17 Camera-ready copy for Delta Edition
The King, 1990
Box Folder
3 1 Earlier typescript
2 Earlier typescript
3-4 Various typescripts and partial typescripts
5 Later typescript
6 Copyedited typescript, photocopied, with corrections by Frederick Barthelme, with letter from Frederick Barthelme to Kathy Banks of Harper & Row, August 27, 1989
7-8 Final typescript in black folder (two)
9 Typescript for readings
10 Woodcuts for art research? (photocopies)
11 Layout with original artwork
12 Artwork (photocopies)
13 Galley proof, photocopies, with note
Overnight to Many Distant Cities, 1983
Box Folder
3 14 Typescript, including photocopies, with corrections
15 Typescript, photocopied, and printed pages, with corrections [mostly from Sixty Stories and Overnight to Many Distant Cities]
Paradise, 1986
Box Folder
4 1 Typescript pages, with note from Donald Barthelme
2-3 Early typescript
3-5 Early typescript, photocopied, with corrections
6-7 Early typescript, photocopied
8-9 Early typescript, photocopied, with new dedication
10-11 Final typescript
12 Corrections for typesetter
13 Corrections for typesetter
14-15 Copyedited typescript
Box Folder
5 1 Galley proofs, author's
2 Galley proofs, printer's
3 Galley proof
4-5 Page proof, author's
4-5 Page proof, author's
6-7 Page proof, printer's, 5/21/86
8-9 Page proof, printer's, 5/21/86
10-11 Page proof, printer's, 6/26/86
12 Page proof, final
13 Dust jacket
Presents, 1980
Box Folder
5 14 Page proofs, with corrections
Sadness, 1972
Box Folder
5 15 Dust jacket
Sam's Bar, 1987
Box Folder
6 1 Typescript draft, photocopied
2 Typescript draft, alternate, photocopied
3 Introduction, storyboards, and loose pages, with correspondence from Seymour Chwast
Box Folder
29 2 Draft with inserted text
Box Folder
6 4 Page proofs, with corrections
Sixty Stories, 1981
Box Folder
6 5-8 Copyedited typescript, photocopied, and printed pages, 1981
9-11 Galley proofs, author's
12-14 Galley proofs, printer's
Box Folder
7 1-2 Page proofs
3-4 Page proofs
5-6 Page proofs, author's
7 Page proofs, printer's, 4/13/81
8-9 Page proofs, printer's, 5/27/81
10-11 Page proofs, printer's, 6/10/81
12 Dust jacket
Snow White, 1967
Box Folder
7 13 Copyedited typescript with corrections (bound)
Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts, 1968
Box Folder
7 14 Copyedited photocopied and printed pages, with correspondence from Jane Bierhorst
25 Page proofs
Page proofs, author's, with corrections


Short Stories, [1959]-1987
This series includes short stories in manuscript or typescript form. Barthelme rarely kept early drafts of his work, so many of these stories are in a finished or nearly finished stage and show minimal editing by the author. Some galley proofs, tear sheets, and paste ups are also included.
Box Folder
8 1 The Abduction from the Seraglio, 1977
Box Folder
29 3 Adventure, undated
Box Folder
8 2 Affection, 1983
The Agreement, 1974
3 Typescript, photocopied
4 Tear sheet, photocopied
5 Alice, undated
6 Among the Beanwoods/The Beanwoods[unpublished], undated
The Apology, 1978
Box Folder
8 7 Typescripts
8 Tear sheet
9 Aria, 1979
10 The Art of Baseball, undated
The Author, 1987
Box Folder
8 11 Typescripts
12 Tear sheet
13 The Balloon, 1965
Basil from her Garden, 1985
Box Folder
8 14 Typescripts
15 Galley proof
16 Tear sheet
17 Bishop, 1980
Bluebeard, 1986
Box Folder
8 18 Typescripts
19 Tear sheet
Box Folder
29 4 Page proof
Brain Damage, undated
Box Folder
8 20 Typescript
21 Paste up
22 Captain Blood, [1979]
23 The Captured Woman, 1976
24 The Catechist, [1971]
Chablis, 1983
Box Folder
8 25 Typescript, photocopy
26 Tear sheet
Challenge, 1981
Box Folder
8 27 Typescripts
28 Galley proof
29 Tear sheet
30 City Life, undated
31 City Life II, 1969
A City of Churches, undated
Box Folder
8 32 Typescript
33 Paste up
Concerning the Bodyguard, 1978
Box Folder
8 34 Typescripts
35 Tear sheet
Construction, 1985
Box Folder
8 36 Typescripts
37 Galley proof
Conversations with Goethe, 1980
Box Folder
8 38 Typescripts
39 Tear sheet
40 Cornell, undated
Cortes and Montezuma, 1977
Box Folder
8 41 Typescripts
42 Paste up
43 The Crisis, 1977
44 Critique de la Vie Quotidienne, undated
The Dassaud Prize, 1976
Box Folder
29 5 Page proof
Box Folder
8 45 Tear sheet
46 Daumier, undated
47 Departures, [1971]
48 The Director, undated
49 The Discovery, undated
50 The Dolt, undated
50 The Dolt, undated
51 A Dream, 1973
52 Edward and Pia, undated
52 Edward and Pia, undated
53 Edwards, Amelia, photocopied, undated
54 The Emperor, 1980
55 Eugenie Grandet, 1968
56 The Explanation, undated
57 The Extremely Large Cheese (carbon copy), undated
58 The Falling Dog, undated
59 The Farewell Party, undated
60 A Few Moments of Sleeping and Waking, undated
A Film, 1970
Box Folder
8 61 Typescript
62 Tear sheet
63 The Fireman, undated
64 Florence Green is 81, undated
65 Flying to America, undated
66 The Foolfarm Report, undated
67 Game, undated
68 The Genius, undated
69 Grandmother's House, 1979
70 Great Days, undated
The Great Debate, 1976
Box Folder
8 71 Typescripts
72 Tear sheet
73 Heroes, 1980
How I Write My Songs, 1978
Box Folder
8 74 Typescripts
75 Tear sheet
I Bought a Little City, undated
Box Folder
8 76 Typescript
77 Tear sheet
The Inauguration
Box Folder
8 78 Tear sheet, undated
January, 1987
Box Folder
8 79 Typescript
80 Galley proof
81 Jaws, undated
82 Kierkegaard Unfair to Schlegel, undated
The King of Jazz, 1976
Box Folder
8 83 Typescripts
84 Paste up
85 Kissing the President, 1983
86 The Leap, 1978
87 Letters to the Editore, undated
88 Lightning, 1982
89 A Man, undated
Man's Face, undated
Box Folder
8 90 Tear sheet
91 Manual for Sons, 1975
92 Margins, undated
93 Marie, Marie, Hold on Tight, undated
Momma, 1978
Box Folder
8 94 Typescripts
95 Tear sheet
Monumental Folly (with Edward Sorel), undated
Box Folder
8 96 Tear sheet
More Zero, 1986
Box Folder
8 97 Typescripts
98 Tear sheet
Morning, 1978
Box Folder
8 99 Typescripts
100 Tear sheet
101 The Mothball Fleet, 1971
Natural History, undated
Box Folder
9 1 Tear sheet
2 The New Member, [1974]
The New Music, 1978
Box Folder
9 3 Typescripts
4 Tear sheet
5 The New Owner, undated
6 Newsletter, undated
7 A Note on Angels, undated
8 Nothing: A Preliminary Account, 1973
9 One Hundred Ten West Sixty-First Street, 1973
On the Deck, 1986
Box Folder
9 10 Typescript
11 Galley proofs
12 On the Steps of the Conservatory, 1977
Opening, 1984
Box Folder
9 13 Typescripts
14 Galley proof
15 Tear sheet
Our Work and Why We Do It, 1973
Box Folder
9 16 Typescript
17 Tear sheet
18 Overnight to Many Different Cities, 1980
19 Pages from the Annual Report, [1959]
20 Typescript
21 Galley proof
Paradise (Before the Egg Broke), undated
Box Folder
9 22 Galley proof, with note
23 Paraguay, undated
24 The Party, undated
25 Pepperoni, 1980
26 Perpetua, [1971]
27 The Phantom of the Opera's Friend, undated
28 Philadelphia, undated
29 The Photographs, 1974
30 The Piano Player, undated
31 The Policemen's Ball, undated
32 Pool [unpublished], undated
33 Presents, undated
34 The Question Part, 1977
35 Rebecca, undated
36 Recitative [unpublished?], undated
37 Report, undated
38 Return, [1984]
39 The Rise of Capitalism, 1970
40 Rough Draft [unpublished?], undated
Sakrete, 1983
Box Folder
9 41 Typescript
42 Galley proof
43 The School, undated
44 Sentence, undated
45 A Shower of Gold, 1963
Simon, 1984
Box Folder
9 46 Typescripts
47 Galley proof
48 Tear sheet
Sindbad, 1984
Box Folder
9 49 Typescripts
50 Galley proof
51 Snap Snap, 1965
52 Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby, [1973]
The Story Thus Far, undated
Box Folder
9 53 Tear sheet
54 Subpoena, undated
Swallowing, [1972]
Box Folder
9 55 Tear sheet
56 Tales of the Swedish Army, 1977
57 The Teachings of Don B.: A Yankee Way of Knowledge
Typescript, (carbon copy), undated
Box Folder
29 6 Tear sheet, 1973
Box Folder
9 58 The Temptation of St. Anthony, undated
59 Terminus, undated
60 Thailand, undated
61 That Cosmopolitan Girl, undated
62 This Newspaper Here, 1965
Three Great Meals, 1987
Box Folder
9 63 Typescripts
64 Galley proof
65 Tear sheet
65 Tickets, undated
To London and Rome, undated
Box Folder
9 67 Paste up
68 Untitled ("Benjamin Ziff..."), undated
69 Views of My Father Weeping, undated
Visitors, 1981
Box Folder
9 70 Typescript
71 Galley proof
72 Wasteland!
73 We Hope You'll Be Very Happy Here
Well We All Had Our Willie and Wade Records..., undated
Box Folder
9 74 Typescript
75 Galley proof
Box Folder
29 7 Page proof
Box Folder
9 76 Tear sheet
What To Do Next, 1973
Box Folder
9 77 Tear sheet
78 The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Report, undated
79 The Wound, 1973
80 Wrack 1972
81 You are as Brave as Vincent Van Gogh (photocopy), 1977
82 You are Cordially Invited [unpublished], undated
83 The Zombies, 1977
Fragments, undated
Box Folder
9 84 "...canned goods..."
85 The Donkey Prince
86 Elise has cancer...
87 Hamlet's Ghost...
88 In a country under the sea...
89 Just before he died, Heidegger...
90 Moving
91 The skeleton in the closet...
92 Tell me everything...
93 Then I dreamed...magic show...
94 Untitled Collage Story
95 Untitled
96 Varieties of Outcry [collage story]
97 Well C.T. got back here...
98 The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1977
99 You must take my course...
100 Fragments, miscellaneous, undated
101 Fragments, Tear sheets, 1978
Box Folder
29 8 Proofs, The New Yorker, 1964-1987


Plays, 1974-1999
Typescripts and other materials related to plays by Donald Barthelme or adapted from his work.
The Conservatory, undated
Box Folder
10 1 Typescript, photocopied
The Emerald [teleplay], [1981]
Box Folder
10 2 Typescript
3 Typescript with letter from Harrison Starr
The Emerald, adaptation by Adam Greenfield, 1999
Box Folder
10 4 Typescript, photocopied, in folder
Friends of the Family, undated
Box Folder
10 5 Typescript, photocopied
Great Days, [1983]
Box Folder
10 6 Typescript
7 Typescript, photocopied (American Place Theatre)
8 Typescript, photocopied (American Place Theatre), with corrections, in folder
9 Typescript, photocopied
29 Set design
Box Folder
10 10 Programs; layout for program, 1983
Snow White, A Play with Music, 1974
Box Folder
10 11 Copyedited typescript, with corrections (bound)
Straws in the Wind, 1975
Box Folder
10 12 Program


Poetry, undated
Two fragments of poems by Barthelme.
Fragments, undated
Box Folder
10 13 Harder than whale meat...
14 Peter Hope...


Non-Fiction, 1972-1988
A variety of non-fiction material is gathered in this series. Most of it is essays written for publication, such as the pieces published anonymously in the "Notes and Comments" section of The New Yorker. Some pieces not for publication are also found in this series, such as introductions delivered for other writers and eulogies. Material is primarily in the form of typescripts, galley proofs, and tear sheets.
Amphigorey, Also by Edward Gorey, 1983
Box Folder
10 15 Typescript
16 Galley Proof
17 As Grace Paley Faces Jail with Three Other Writers, undated
Being Bad [Robert Rauschenberg], undated
Box Folder
10 18 Typescript
19 Galley proof
20 Rossellen Brown's Fiction, undated
21 The Case of the Vanishing Product, photocopy, undated
22 Donald Barthelme on Superman III, 1983
23 Eulogies, 1978-1979 and undated
24 Exquisite Creatures, undated
25 Introductions and Blurbs, undated
Jim Love Up to Now: An Introduction, 1980
Box Folder
10 26 Typescript
27 Galley proof
Most Wonderful Trick [John Hawkes], 1984
Box Folder
10 28 Clipping
Notes and Comment [New Yorker]
Box Folder
10 29 Typescripts, undated
30 Galley proofs, 1978
Box Folder
29 9 Page proofs
Box Folder
10 31 Tear sheets, 1976-1978 and undated
32 Photocopies, undated
Not-Knowing, undated
Box Folder
10 33 Typescripts
34 Photocopies
25 Galley proofs
Box Folder
10 35 An Objection [Letter to the Editor], undated
36 On Houston and Making a Difference
On Our Street, 1983
Box Folder
10 37 Galley proof
38 On the Level of Desire
Typescript, undated
Box Folder
29 10 Galley proofs, photocopy, 1987
Box Folder
10 39 Real Fakes [Letter to the Editor], 1973
40 Remarks, 1972-1981 and undated
The Short-Story Contest [New York Times], 1976
Box Folder
10 41 Tear sheet
42 Slow Slow Slow, undated
43 [Speech on writers delivered at the University of Houston], 1974
44 Synergy, 1977
[Kurt Vonnegut], [Esquire], 1985
Box Folder
10 45 Tear sheet
46 Woman is an imaginary being, undated
47 Fragments on writing, undated


Related Artwork and Collage Stories, [1970]-1988
This series includes the artwork and "collage stories" that Barthelme created by gluing engravings, woodcuts, and pieces of clip art to posterboard or other backgrounds. Some loose collage pieces have been reglued to their backgrounds using reversible wheat starch paste.
Box Folder
10 48 At the Tolstoy Museum, paste up, [1970]
27 The Educational Experience [collage story]
The Emerald, [1979]
28 The Inauguration [collage story]
Box Folder
29 11 The Rook's Progress [with Jim Love], preliminary section, photocopy, [ca. 1988]
28 The Show [collage story], [1970]
The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine [children's book]
Box Folder
26 1-15 Layout with artwork, [c1971]
28 The Story Thus Far [collage story]
27 Fragments
My grandfather faints..., undated
Untitled, undated
Box Folder
10 49 Artwork by Donald Barthelme, 1977-1988 and undated
50 Artwork by Others, 1980 and undated
Box Folder
29 12 Drawing of Donald Barthelme, 1974
13 Engravings and Collage Sources, undated
Box Folder
10 51 Loose Collage Pieces, undated
Box Folder
29 14 Transfer Lettering, undated


Correspondence, 1958-1997

Correspondence written to Donald Barthelme has been arranged alphabetically by the last name of the sender. Whenever a single correspondent had six or more letters in the collection, a separate folder was created. There is one folder of correspondence from Donald Barthelme to others.
Box Folder
11 1 Roger Angell, 1977-1987 and undated
2 A, 1975-1987 and undated
3 John Barth, 1969-1986 and undated
4 Donald Barthelme, 1971-1989 and undated
5 Ann Beattie, 1980-1988 and undated
6 Kay Boyle, 1981-1985
7 Karen Braziller, 1978-1985 and undated
8 B, 1972-1986 and undated
9 Kenneth Cavander, 1979-1980
10 Arthur A. Cohen, 1978-1986 and undated
11 Maggie Curran, 1978-1980
12 Maggie Curran, 1981-1987
13 C, 1972-1988
14 Arthur C. Danto, 1984-1986
15 Da-Di, 1965-1988 and undated
16 Do-Dz 1979-1989
16 E, 1978-1988 and undated
18 June Fortress, 1975-1980
19 Marianne Frisch, 1979-1982 and undated
20 F, 1975-1983 and undated
21 David Gates, 1976-1980 and undated
22 Philip Graham, 1978-1982
23 G, 1974-1988 and undated
24 Shelby Hearon, 1977-1982 and undated
25 Oscar Hijuelos, 1981-1985 and undated
26 Ha-He,1976-1988 and undated
27 Hi-Hz, 1974-1988 and undated
28 I-J, 1966-1984 and undated
29 Anna Kolyszko, 1981-1984
30 K, 1975-1989 and undated
31 Jim Love, 1979-1987 and undated
32 Beverly Lowry, 1978-1981 and undated
33 L, 1975-1997 and undated
Box Folder
12 1 Larry McCaffery, 1979-1981
2 Margaret Mills, 1978-1986
3 Mc-Ma, 1974-1988 and undated
4 Me-Mz, 1975-1987 and undated
5 Cameron and Donna Northouse, 1979-1988 and undated
6 J.D. O'Hara, 1980-1981 and undated
7 Stathis Orphanos, 1979-1983
8 N-O, 1974-1985 and undated
9 Grace Paley, undated
10 Walker Percy, 1965-1987
11 James Pickering, 1981-1987
12 Padgett Powell, 1982-1988 and undated
13 P, 1973-1989 and undated
14 Q-R, 1974-1988 and undated
15 Ralph B. Sipper, 1978-1980
16 Roger Straus, 1974-1982 and undated
17 Sa-Sm, 1977-1986 and undated
18 So-Sz, 1969-1987 and undated
19 Marshall Terry, 1979-1981 and undated
20 T, 1974-1987
21 U-V, 1974-1988 and undated
22 Wa-Wh, 1958-1986 and undated
23 Wi-Wz, 1976-1990 and undated
24 Herb Yellin, 1978-1979 and undated
25 X-Y-Z, 1978-1988
26 From Large Group, 1979-1982 and undated
27 First Names Only, A-M, 1976-1988 and undated
28 First Names Only, N-Z, 1978-1985 and undated
29 Inclusions to Letters
30 Unidentified, 1968-1987 and undated


Material about Barthelme and his Works, 1964-2001

Interviews and Biographical Articles, 1972-2001
An interview with Barthelme was published in the Summer 1981 issue of the Paris Review as part of its well known series of interviews with writers. J.D. O'Hara taped the initial conversation with Barthelme, transcribed the tape, and sent the transcript to Barthelme. Barthelme heavily reworked the transcript to make an entirely different draft. This series contains various drafts of the interview and some related correspondence. See also the J.D. O'Hara folder in the Correspondence series.
The Paris Review
Box Folder
13 1 Typescript draft, [ca. 1980-1981]
2 Second typescript draft (photocopied), with editorial notes by Ann Beattie, [ca. 1980-1981]
3 Third typescript draft (photocopied), [ca. 1980-1981]
4 Final typescript draft (photocopied), signed, [ca. 1980-1981]
5 Page proof, introduction to interview, [ca. 1980-1981]
6 Correspondence, [ca. 1980-1981]
7 Miscellaneous, 1972-2001 and undated


Reviews, 1964-1990
Reviews of Barthelme's works, primarily from newspapers and magazines. Reviews on acidic newsprint have been photocopied onto less acidic paper.
Box Folder
13 8 Amateurs, 1976-1977
9 City Life, 1970-1971
10 Come Back, Dr. Caligari, 1964
11 The Dead Father, 1975-1977
12 Forty Stories, 1987-1988
13 Great Days, 1978-1979
14 Great Days [play], 1983
15 Guilty Pleasures, 1974
16 The King, 1990
17 Other Works, 1970-1988
18 Overnight to Many Distant Cities, 1983-1984
19 Paradise, 1986-1987
20 Sadness, 1972-1974
21 Sam's Bar, 1987
22 Sixty Stories, 1981, 1989
23 The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine, 1972
24 Snow White, 1967
25 Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts, 1968-69


Articles and Reviews, Foreign Language, 1969-1984
Reviews of Barthelme's work in languages other than English.
Box Folder
13 26 Articles and Reviews, Foreign Language, 1969-1984


Clippings, 1974-1989
Articles about Barthelme, the Houston/Texas writing scene, and some of his friends.
Box Folder
13 27 Donald Barthelme, 1974-1989 and undated
28 Houston/Texas Writing Scene, 1984-1988
29 Mary Ann Hayes
30 Jim Love, 1980
31 Grace Paley and the White House Eleven, and undated 1978-1979
32 Susan Sontag, 1977-1980


Criticism/Papers on Barthelme, 1975-1986
This series contains literary criticism and student papers about Barthelme's work.
Box Folder
13 33 Criticism/Papers on Barthelme, 1975-1986 and undated


Writing Career, 1972-1997

Creative Writing Program, University of Houston, [ca. 1980s-1988]
This series contains materials related to Barthelme's teaching career at the University of Houston, including some of the assignments he gave his writing classes. The folder containing class enrollment and grades is closed to the public for privacy reasons.
Box Folder
14 1 Class Enrollment and Grades, 1981-1988 CLOSED
2 Class Materials, [ca. 1980s]
4 Promotional Materials, Creative Writing Program and Houston Reading Series, [ca. 1980s]
27 Promotional flyer paste-ups, 1987-1988
Box Folder
14 5 Teaching Evaluations, 1988
6 University of Houston, [ca. 1980s]


Graduate Program in Writing, The City College of New York, [ca. 1970s]
One folder of material related to Barthelme's teaching career at the City College of New York.
Box Folder
14 7 Graduate Program in Writing, The City College of New York, [ca. 1970s]


PEN American, 1976-1989
Barthelme was a member of the writers' association PEN American Center, serving as its vice president for the period 1977-1979. Most of the material in this series relates to the planning of the 48th International PEN Congress, which was held in New York City in 1986. Copies of papers that were delivered on the topic of "The Writer's Imagination and the Imagination of the State," are included.
Box Folder
14 8 Awards, 1989 and undated
9 48th International PEN Congress, Packets, 1986
10-11 48th International PEN Congress, Panelists' Papers, 1986
12 48th International PEN Congress, Report, 1987
13 PEN American Center, 1978-1987
14 PEN American Center, Printed Manner, 1976-1989
15 Planning Committee, 1988-1989
16 Planning Committee, Planning Survey Results, 1988
17 Program Committee, 48th International PEN Congress, 1983-1986
18 Program Committee, 48th International PEN Congress, Correspondence, 1985


Awards and Events, 1972-1984
Awards and certificates received by Barthelme, including the National Book Award and the French Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and related materials.
Box Folder
14 19 American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1978-1983
Box Folder
29 15 Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres certificate, with letter, 1989
Box Folder
14 20 Miscellaneous, 1980-1984
Box Folder
29 16 National Book Award for Children's Books, 1972
Box Folder
14 21 National Institute of Arts and Letters, Morton Dauwen Zabel Award, 1972
Writers in Society Series, University of Houston [U-matic videotape]


Contracts, 1975-1997
Box Folder
14 22 Contracts, 1975-1997


Royalties, 1978-1986
This folder contains royalty statements.
Box Folder
14 23 Royalties, 1978-1986


Miscellaneous, 1987
This folder contains only a single membership roster for the Texas Institute of Letters.
Box Folder
14 24 Miscellaneous, 1987


Photographs, 1979-1988

Photographs of Donald Barthelme alone or with his wife or fellow writers. Of special note is the photograph from the "Postmodernists Dinner" arranged by Barthelme in 1983, which includes leading writers who were described by critics as postmodern in style.
Box Folder
18 23 John Barth, 1979
24 Donald and Marion Barthelme, undated
25 Donald Barthelme, 1979 and undated
26 Donald Barthelme, [ca. 1980s]
27 Donald Barthelme, 1988
29 Donald Barthelme 1988
Box Folder
18 28 Donald Barthelme and John Barth, undated
29 Donald Barthelme and Grace Paley, 1980
30 Donald Barthelme and George Plimpton, 1988
31 Miscellaneous, undated
32 Postmodernists Dinner: Donald Barthelme, John Barth, Robert Coover, Kurt Vonnegut, Walter Abish, William Gass, and others, 1983


Miscellaneous, 1960-1989

Most notable in this series are biographical notes about Donald Barthelme, and a photocopy of his appointment book from 1979.
Box Folder
18 33 Art Openings, Promotional Materials, 1978-1987
34 Biographical Information, 1982-1987
35 Business Cards, Others', undated
36 Cards, Various, undated
37 Financial, 1973-1989
38 Houston Review Cover
39 Magazine Clippings, 1979-1984
40 Memorial Services, 1978-1979
41 Miscellaneous, undated
42 Notes and Addresses, undated
43 Postcards, Blank, undated
44 Printed Pamphlets, 1960-1983 and undated
45 Transcript, University of Houston, 1977
46 Week-at-a-Glance appointment book, photocopy, 1979


Students' Works, 1983-1989

Graduate Students, Creative Writing Program
Works submitted to Barthelme by students in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston.
Elizabeth Ashton
Box Folder
15 1 The Exorcist, undated
2 Street Talk, 1984
3 The Triumph 10, 1983
[Glenn Blake]
Box Folder
15 4-5 Chocolate Bay, undated
6 The Clearing, undated
Michael Bond
Box Folder
15 7-9 Leftovers
Maureen Brown
Box Folder
15 10 Pizza Kid, with note, 1983
[Kathleen] Cambor
Box Folder
15 11-13 Anne, undated
14 Stars, 1983
Vikram Chandra
Box Folder
15 15-18 Red Earth and Pouring Rain, undated
[Thomas] Cobb
Box Folder
15 19 Consider the Lilies of the Field, 1983
Kevin Cunningham
Box Folder
15 20 Strange Attractors, undated
Tracy Daugherty
Box Folder
16 1 Harrup, undated
2 Harrup, alternate draft, with note, undated
3-4 Lowrider, with letter, undated
5 Observatory, undated
6 Problem, undated
7 Raphael's Blush, undated
Lila Havens
Box Folder
16 8 Noctimania, undated
O[live] Hershey
Box Folder
16 9 Science in the Modern World, with card, undated
Sabine Hilding
Box Folder
16 10 Anna, undated
11 Anna, alternate draft, undated
Robert Lunday
Box Folder
16 12 The Amnesia Club, undated
Elizabeth McBride
Box Folder
16 13-14 Separations
15-16 Sheila, Part I, with cards, 1987
17-18 Sheila, Part I, 1987
Daniel C. Massey
Box Folder
16 19 Local Terror
[Virginia] "Ginger" [Moran]
Box Folder
16 20 The Algebra of Snow
David Portz
Box Folder
16 21 Hand Motions About the Neck, 1988
22 Short Stories, 1989
Padgett Powell
Box Folder
16 23 Typical, with note to Marion, undated
[Michael] "Mike" Ronan
Box Folder
16 24 Dali Lama Dreams, 1986
Marilyn Stablein
Box Folder
16 25 After the Trial, undated
26 Circling the Buddha, undated
Eleanor Totz
Box Folder
16 27 Defiled, undated
George Williams
Box Folder
16 28 Airport, undated
29 Bus, undated
30 Deadly, undated
31 Fame, undated
32 Garden of Earthly Delights, with letter, undated
33 Ghost, undated
34 Mule, with letter, undated
Box Folder
17 1-3 Under a Green Sun, undated
Eric Miles Williamson
Box Folder
17 4 The Pedestrian Wheel, 1988
Paul Yeager
Box Folder
17 5 Red Hot Nights, 1988
6 Red Hot Nights, alternate draft (photocopy), with letter, 1988
Box Folder
17 7-9 The History of Luminescence
Box Folder
17 10 Roberta 1956, ch. 7, undated
Box Folder
17 11-12 Angel Corp., undated
13 The Butterfly Effect, undated
14 The Heater Man, undated
15 [L.A. Law teleplay], undated
16 Rates of Exchange, undated
17 Slam Dance, undated
18 Fragments, undated


Undergraduate Students, 1984-1988
Works submitted to Barthelme by undergraduate students at the University of Houston.
Box Folder
17 19-20 Undergraduate students, 1984-1988 and undated
21 Fragments, undated


Works by Others, 1975-1989

Primarily typescripts and photocopies of works by other writers. A galley proof of William Gass' On Being Blue is included in this series.
Roger Angell
Box Folder
18 1 Remarks, 1981
Ann Beattie
Box Folder
18 2 Alex Katz (photocopy) with letter, [1987]
[Thomas] Benjamin
Box Folder
18 3 "Free Advice to a Young Composer," 1980
Arthur C. Danto
Box Folder
18 4 Philosophizing Literature (two photocopies), undated
John Domini
Box Folder
18 5 Eastertime Fogs (photocopy), 1988
6 Highway Trade (photocopy), 1988
7 The Rules of Dancing (photocopy), 1987
William Gass
25 On Being Blue, galley proof, 1975
Albert Guérard
Box Folder
18 8 "The View from the Persimmon Tree: Houston 1924-1972," The Touch of Time: Myth, Memory, and the Self, [1980]
Kenneth Koch
Box Folder
18 9 Youth, undated
George Manner
Box Folder
18 10 Placement of Things, undated
Gina Maranto
Box Folder
18 11 Shadow Keepers, with letter, 1989
Maurice Natanson
Box Folder
18 12 The Ghost of Perception (photocopy)
13 An Ordinary Evening in New Haven (photocopy)
14 The Sleep of Bad Faith
Grace Paley
Box Folder
18 15 Friends (photocopy), undated
16 Photographing/In Another Country/Somewhere Else, undated
Gregory Blake Smith
Box Folder
18 17 From The Flesh and the Spirit, [1988]
Joy Williams
Box Folder
18 18 (Concerning the Visiting Faculty Person), [spoof of Barthelme's "Concerning the Bodyguard"], undated
Robert Wren
Box Folder
18 19 Harmattan Light, undated
20 Love Among the Ruins, undated
21 University, undated
22 Dust Jackets, 1976-1981


Partial Index of Correspondents

Angell, Roger
Apple, Max
Banks, Russell, 1940-
Barth, John, 1930-
Barthelme, Donald, 1907-1996
Beattie, Ann
Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992
Cheever, John
Coover, Robert
Dahl, Roald
De Kooning, Elaine
Fisher, M.F.K. (Mary Frances Kennedy), 1908-1992
Gates, David, 1947-
Gill, Brendan, 1914-1997
Giroux, Robert
Hannah, Barry
Hess, Thomas B.
Hijuelos, Oscar
Johnson, B. S. (Bryan Stanley), 1933-1973
Lowry, Beverly
Macdonald, Cynthia
Oates, Joyce Carol, 1938-
Paley, Grace
Percy, Walker, 1916-1990
Powell, Padgett
Pynchon, Thomas
Shawn, William
Sontag, Susan, 1933-2004
Tolstoy, Alexandra, 1884-1979
Updike, John
Vonnegut, Kurt
Williams, Joy, 1944-