Lot 15 of 455:
Large Kay Boyle archive w/over 100 photos  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$3,300
$700 - $1,000

Large Kay Boyle archive


Various places


Various dates.


A large Kay Boyle archive, comprising approximately five banker's boxes of material. Includes a number of books signed or inscribed by Boyle, correspondence, numerous framed awards and plaques, passports, financial journals, and a large archive of material from her 1966 trip to Cambodia, including over 100 photographs. The items have not been individually cataloged; collection sold as is. 

Kay Boyle was an American novelist, short story writer, educator, and political activist. She was a Guggenheim Fellow and O. Henry Award winner. Boyle and her husband were victims of early 1950s McCarthyism; her husband was dismissed by Roy Cohn from his post in the Public Affairs Division of the United States Department of State, and Boyle lost her position as foreign correspondent for The New Yorker, a post she had held for six years. She was blacklisted by most of the major magazines. During this period, her life and writing became increasingly political.  She traveled to Cambodia in 1966 as part of the "Americans Want to Know" fact-seeking mission. She participated in numerous protests, and in 1967 was arrested twice and imprisoned. In her later years she became an active supporter of Amnesty International and worked for the NAACP.

 This archive includes:

  • Two passports (1953 and 1963).
  • Correspondence: A number of letters to Boyle from various editors and publishers, a short typescript letter from poet Howard Nemerov, signed by him, as well as correspondence from composer Virgil Thompson, and author William Shirer; also present is a letter from Boyle that is intimate in tone to a "Joseph." written on Oct. 30, 1940, typewritten and signed with a holograph postscript (this letter about good condition).
  • A number of handwritten notes of ideas for various writing projects on small sheets of paper (about 10 in total) and an envelope, a few typescript poems drafts with holograph corrections.
  • Address book (undated) including contact information for publishers, editors, writers, ect., including Howard Nemerov, contacts at New Directions, etc. 
  • Approx. five manuscript journals of expenses, deductible  expenditures, etc. dating from the early 60's through the early 90's.
  • A vinyl record recording of a radio interview from 1960 in which Boyle talks about her work in progress - a history of Germany. Good amount of wear to sleeve, the record itself with just a bit of minor surface wear.
  • Large 1947 French Resistance poster. In about fair condition.
  • Approx. 10 awards, honorary degrees, etc. from The Celtic Foundation, Skidmore College, Marin Women's Hall of Fame, The City of San Francisco, Amnesty International, etc. Most framed. 
  • Four issues of Transition and two of This Quarter from the 1920's and 30's with contributions from Boyle. These are in poor or fair condition only.
  • Approx. 16 clothbound books by Boyle, most first editions, some with jackets; all signed or inscribed by her, some with handwritten corrections. Titles include Year Before Last, My Next Bride, The Crazy Hunter, Thirty Stories, and The Underground Woman among others. Varying degrees of wear, most just fair or good.
  • Approx. 20 other volumes, many with Boyle's ownership signature; includes books by her in various languages, books to which she contributed a foreword or introduction, etc. Two titles inscribed to her by Andrei Codrescu. All of these books generally in good to very good condition.
  • A banker's box of miscellaneous material,  largely being items related to her 1966 "Mission to Cambodia," including numerous typescript pages of a day to day account by Boyle with manuscript corrections, over 100 b&w photographs from the mission, most 4½x&" or 7x9½" (some images are repeated), maps, a large collection of pamphlets, newspapers, clippings, etc., some with notes by Boyle, and a small selection of correspondence to and from Boyle.
  • A small selection of other ephemera.

Lot Amendments

Varying degrees of wear; many of the books and journals are in just fair condition, some good or better, a few poor; all the photographs are in very good or better condition, the framed awards, etc. are near fine or better, other miscellaneous ephemera generally very good or better; sold as is.

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