James McConkey


James McConkey was the Goldwin Smith Professor of English Literature, emeritus, at Cornell.  He was the author or editor of 15 books.  In addition to The Complete Court of Memory, they include To a Distant Island, an account of Chekhov’s journey across Siberia to Sakhalin Island, and The Anatomy of Memory.

To the previous books of Court of Memory—Crossroads, The Stranger at the Crossroads, and Stories from My Life with the Other Animals—The Complete Court of Memory adds A Song of One’s Own, composed of narratives created from memory that have appeared in magazines but not collected until now.

Court of Memory affectionately charts the capricious and beguiling landscape of the heart. For all readers with memories this is something special.” – Wright Morris

“McConkey is one of our best writers; the gracefulness of his prose, the depth of his perceptions are often profoundly moving. He invests commonplace events and artifacts with harmony and meaning. The deceptively simple stories are built around the relationships between parents and children, between marriage partners, between good friends. It is a spiritual odyssey conveyed with rare sensitivity and eloquence.” – Publishers Weekly

“This is a wonderful book. McConkey makes of his own life…a powerful, thoughtful, and vivid work of art.” – Annie Dillard

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