By Katherine Duke '05
A first-edition copy (left) and manuscript of Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow '70, on display as part of Archives and Special Collections' Novelists of Amherst exhibition
“Everybody knows the poets of Amherst. Everybody thinks of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson and Richard Wilbur and James Merrill,” Michael Kelly said. “But we have just as many, if not more, novelists.”
Kelly was showing me the new Novelists of Amherst exhibition, in the college’s Archives and Special Collections area on the A Level of Frost Library. Since Kelly arrived as head of Archives and Special Collections a year ago, he said, he’s made it a priority to develop more systematic and extensive collections of all different types of creative writing published by Amherst grads—not just poetry, but also theatrical writing, screenplays and television scripts. And out of “a personal bias toward fiction,” he’s started with this collection of alumni novels.