Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Stanley Elkin  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: May 11, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York

Died: 1995 in St. Louis, Missouri

-- Stanley Elkin on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Elkin was raised in Chicago. He attended University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Biographical and Professional Information

Stanley Elkin was a novelist, short story writer, and essayist. He was a member of the English faculty at Washington University in St. Louis from 1960 until his death.

Published Works

  • Boswell: A Modern Comedy, 1964
  • Criers and Kibitzers, Kibitzers and Criers, 1966
  • A Bad Man, 1967
  • The Dick Gibson Show, 1971
  • Searches and Seizures, 1973
  • The Franchiser, 1976
  • The Living End, 1979
  • George Mills, 1982
  • The Magic Kingdom, 1985
  • Early Elkin, 1985
  • The Rabbi of Lud, 1987
  • The MacGuffin, 1991
  • Van Gogh's Room at Arles, 1993
  • Mrs. Ted Bliss, 1995

Selected Titles At Your Library

Searches & seizures :
ISBN: 0879232536. OCLC Number:

Nonpariel,. Boston :. ©1973.

George Mills /
ISBN: 1564782921. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. [Normal, Ill.] :. 2003.

Considered by many to be Elkin's magnum opus, George Mills is, an ambitious, digressive and endlessly entertaining account of the 1,000 year history of the George Millses. From toiling as a stable boy during the crusades to working as a furniture mover, there has always been a George Mills whose lot in life is to serve important personages. But the latest in the line of true blue-collar workers may also be the last, as he obsesses about his family's history and decides to break the cycle of doomed George Millses.

Mrs. Ted Bliss /
ISBN: 1564783227. OCLC Number:

Hyperion,. New York :. ©1995.

The life of a retired senior citizen. She is Dorothy Bliss, a widow after a butcher who lives in a condo in Miami. The novel follows her everyday life--cleaning, cooking, writing letters--all the while recording her memories and her wise observations on life. A slice of life enlivened by a brush with drug dealers. By the author of George Mills.

The living end /
ISBN: 0380728974. OCLC Number:

Avon,. New York, NY :. 1996.

The magic kingdom /
ISBN: 156478259X. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Normal, IL :. 2000.

"Abandoned by his wife and devastated by the death of his twelve-year old son, Eddy Bale becomes obsessed with the plight of terminally ill children and develops a plan to provide a "last hurrah" dream vacation for seven children who will never grow-up. Eddy and his four dyfunctional chaperones journey to the entertainment capital of America - Disney World. Once they arrive, a series of absurdities characteristic of an Elkin novel - including a freak snowstorm and a run-in with a vengeful Mickey Mouse - transform Eddy's idealistic wish into a fantastic nightmare."--Jacket.

Van Gogh's room at Arles :
ISBN: 1564782808. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Chicago, Ill. :. 2002.

The franchiser :
ISBN: 1564783057. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Chicago :. 2001.

"Ben Flesh is one of the men "who made America look like America, who made America famous." He collects franchises, traveling from state to state, acquiring the brand-name establishments that shape the American landscape. But both the nation and Ben are running out of energy. As blackouts roll through the West, Ben struggles with the onset of multiple sclerosis, and the growing realization that his lifetime quest to buy a name for himself has ultimately failed."--Jacket.

The living end /
ISBN: 1564783421. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. [Normal, Ill.] :. 2004.

Killed during a senseless holdup, kindhearted Ellerbee finds himself on a whirlwind tour of a distressingly familiar theme park Heaven and inner-city Hell, where he learns the truth about God's love and wrath.

The Dick Gibson show /
ISBN: 1564781984. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Normal, IL :. 1998.

"Look who's on the "Dick Gibson Radio Show": Arnold the Memory Expert ("I've memorized the entire West Coast shoreline - except for cloud cover and fog banks"). Bernie Perk, the burning pharmacist. Henry Harper, the nine-year old orphan millionaire, terrified of being adopted. The woman whose life revolves around pierced lobes. An evil hypnotist. Swindlers. Con-men. And Dick Gibson himself." "Anticipating talk radio and its crazed hosts, Stanley Elkin creates a brilliant comic world held together by American manias and maniacs in all their forms, and a character who perfectly understands what Americans want and gives it to them."--Jacket.

The rabbi of Lud /
ISBN: 1564782700. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. [Normal, Ill.] :. 2001.

"Surrounded by cemeteries in the flatlands of New Jersey, the small town of Lud is sustained by the business of death. In fact, with no synagogue and no congregation, Rabbi Jerry Goldkorn has only one true responsibility: to preside over burial services for Jews who pass away in the surrounding cities. But after the Arctic misadventures that led him to Lud, he wouldn't want to live (or die) anywhere else." "As the only living child in Lud, his daughter Connie has a different opinion of this grisly city, and she will do anything to get away from it - or at least liven it up a bit. Things get lively indeed when Connie testifies to meeting the Virgin Mary for a late-night romp through the local graveyards."--Jacket.

Early Elkin /
ISBN: 0917453034. OCLC Number:

Bamberger Books,. Flint, Mich. :. 1985.

A bad man /
ISBN: 1564783324. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. [Normal, Ill.] :. 2003.

"Sentenced to a year in jail for providing his customers with everything they needed - drugs for the nervous, abortions for the unintending, guns for the crazed - department store owner Leo Feldman finds himself in a Kafkaesque prison. Labeled a "bad man," Feldman is treated as a fool, made to wear a clownish version of his business suit with oversized button holes too big for the buttons and miscut legs and pockets. While incarcerated, he's forced to come to terms with his criminal self - a man always on the make, one who can't avoid overselling to the poor and lying to the trusting - in this grey-stone purgatory run by a sadistic prison warden who enforces a set of elaborate, ever-shifting rules."--Jacket.

The MacGuffin /
ISBN: 1564782239. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Normal, IL :. 2000.

As he's chauffeured about in his official limousine, aging City commissioner of Streets Bobbo Druff comes to a frightening realization: he's lost force, the world has started to condescend to him. His once fear-inspiring figure has become everyone's "little old lady." In retaliation, Druff constructs a paranoid plot, his "MacGuffin" within which)he believes) everyone is out to get him. with unabashed enthusiasm Druff starts an illicit affair (in order to incriminate himself), instigates fights with his employees, invents lies for his family- in short, everythingything in his power to create a world in which he is placed safely and firmly at the scandalous center.

Criers & kibitzers, kibitzers & criers /
ISBN: 1564782344. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. [Normal, IL] :. 2000.

Boswell :
ISBN: 1564781747. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Normal, Ill. :. 1999.

"Boswell is Stanley Elkin's first and funniest novel: the comic odyssey of a twentieth-century groupie who collects celebrities as his insurance policy against death." "James Boswell - strong man, professional wrestler (his most heroic match is with the Angel of Death) - is a con man, gate crasher, and moocher of epic talent. He is also a man on the make for all the great men of his time - his logic being that if you can't be a lion, know a pride of them. Can he cheat his way out of morality?"--Jacket.