Shelf Life

Writers and Their Libraries: What Books Did David Foster Wallace, James Joyce, and Evelyn Waugh Own? (PHOTOS)

The Harry Ransom Center shares some of the titles in the libraries of David Foster Wallace, James Joyce, Nancy Cunard, and other writers. Plus, Richard Oram on what we can learn from these private collections.

Harry Ransom Center; Culture Club/Getty; Gary Hannabarger/Corbis

Harry Ransom Center; Culture Club/Getty; Gary Hannabarger/Corbis

The Harry Ransom Center shares some of the titles in the libraries of David Foster Wallace, James Joyce, Nancy Cunard, and other writers. Plus, Richard Oram on what we can learn from these private collections.

Harry Ransom Center

Books from David Foster Wallace's library of about 300 titles. Photo by Pete Smith.

Harry Ransom Center

Books from David Foster Wallace's library of about 300 titles. Photo by Pete Smith.

Harry Ransom Center

Books from David Foster Wallace's library of about 300 titles. Photo by Pete Smith.

Harry Ransom Center

David Foster Wallace's teaching copy of Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs.

Harry Ransom Center

James Joyce’s Trieste library, formed between 1900 and 1920, comprises 623 volumes. Photo by Pete Smith.

Harry Ransom Center

James Joyce's Trieste library, formed between 1900 and 1920, comprises 623 volumes. Photo by Pete Smith.

Harry Ransom Center

Evelyn Waugh's library, with about 4,000 volumes of books, consists primarily of 19th- and 20th-century works of English literature, art, design, architecture, and landscape gardening. Photo by Pete Smith.

Harry Ransom Center

Evelyn Waugh's library, with about 4,000 volumes of books, consists primarily of 19th- and 20th-century works of English literature, art, design, architecture, and landscape gardening. Photo by Pete Smith.

Harry Ransom Center

Evelyn Waugh's bookplate within Edith Sitwell's Collected Poems.

Harry Ransom Center

Flyleaf of Graham Greene’s A Burnt-Out Case with the author's inscription to Evelyn Waugh, followed by the latter's bitter response. Although the two novelists were good friends, the relationship was a rocky one.

Harry Ransom Center

Nancy Cunard's bookplate within Book of Common Prayer.

Harry Ransom Center

Nancy Cunard's copy of De L'Arve à Tolède, inscribed by the author Jeune Poesie.

Harry Ransom Center

Nancy Cunard's copy of Scottsboro Limited, with an inscription signed by Langston Hughes.

Harry Ransom Center

T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922), inscribed to Ezra Pound.