Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Lewis Fried Collection of Jack Conroy
Scope and contents of the collection
The Conroy Collection includes a series of 24 letters from Jack Conroy to Lewis Fried, a professor of English at Kent State University and UMass PhD, along with a small number of letters by associates of Conroy, and a selection of publications associated with or including work by him. Of particular interest are Fried's oral history interviews with Conroy (1971) and Sally Goodman (1981).
In his letters and in the oral history, Conroy discusses his career in writing, his novel The Dispossessed and other literary activities in the 1930s, with occasional comments on current events. The letters of Irving Friedman, Percival Goodman, and Walter Snow all relate to Conroy and proletarian fiction, while James T. Farrell, who often clashed with Conroy, simply denies Fried access to his papers. The collection also includes a typed copy of Michael Gold's review of the The Dispossessed that appeared in the New Masses.
The small assortment of printed items include copies of the populist magazines Foolkiller (two issues) and North Country Anvil, and an issue of the American Book Collector that includes an article on Conroy and bibliography of his writing. There are, as well, photocopies of several of Conroy's stories from the American Mercury.