Quincy College Academy, Quincy, Massachusetts, United States
James Farl Powers graduated from Quincy College Academy, a Franciscan high school.
Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, United States
James took English and philosophy courses at Northwestern University in Chicago, but did not earn a degree.
J. F. Powers
J. F. Powers
J. F. Powers
J. F. Powers
(The hero of J.F. Powers's comic masterpiece is Father Urb...)
The hero of J.F. Powers's comic masterpiece is Father Urban, a man of the cloth who is also a man of the world. Charming, with an expansive vision of the spiritual life and a high tolerance for moral ambiguity, Urban enjoys a national reputation as a speaker on the religious circuit and has big plans for the future. But then the provincial head of his dowdy religious order banishes him to a retreat house in the Minnesota hinterlands. Father Urban soon bounces back, carrying God's word with undaunted enthusiasm through the golf courses, fishing lodges, and backyard barbecues of his new turf. Yet even as he triumphs his tribulations mount, and in the end his greatest success proves a setback from which he cannot recover.
(Wheat That Springeth Green, J. F. Powers's beautifully re...)
Wheat That Springeth Green, J. F. Powers's beautifully realized final work, is a comic foray into the commercialized wilderness of modern American life. Its hero, Joe Hackett, is a high school track star who sets out to be a saint. But seminary life and priestly apprenticeship soon damp his ardor, and by the time he has been given a parish of his own he has traded in his hair shirt for the consolations of baseball and beer. Meanwhile Joe's higher-ups are pressing for an increase in profits from the collection plate, suburban Inglenook's biggest business wants to launch its new line of missiles with a blessing, and not all that far away, in Vietnam, a war is going on. Joe wants to duck and cover, but in the end, almost in spite of himself, he is condemned to do something right.
(Suitable Accommodations is the story of a man at odds wit...)
Suitable Accommodations is the story of a man at odds with the world and, despite his faith, with his church. Beginning in prison, where Powers spent more than a year as a conscientious objector, the letters move on to his courtship, marriage, comically unsuccessful attempt to live in the woods, life in the Midwest and in Ireland, an unorthodox view of the Catholic Church, and an increasingly bizarre search for "suitable accommodations," which included three full-scale emigrations to Ireland. Here, too, are encounters with such diverse people as Thomas Merton, Eugene McCarthy, Robert Lowell, Theodore Roethke, Sean O'Faolain, Frank O'Connor.
James Farl Powers graduated from Quincy College Academy, a Franciscan high school. He took English and philosophy courses at Wright Junior College and at Northwestern University in Chicago, but did not earn a degree.
After studies Powers had various jobs, such as insurance salesman, sales clerk, editor and bookstore clerk. He was a conscientious objector during World War II, and went to prison for it. Later he worked as a hospital orderly.
His first novel, Morte d’Urban, won the prize in 1963 but his next work, a collection of short stories called Look How the Fish Live, was not published until 1975. Other works include Prince of Darkness and Other Stories, The Presence of Grace and 1988’s Wheat That Springeth Green, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Much of Powers’ work centered on priests and Catholicism, which drew kudos and complaints from different corners. Those who liked his work viewed him as a satirist who perfectly captured the day-to-day clerical life, speech patterns, and responsibilities. Critics believed he focused too much on a few negatives in the church. Powers’ first important work, Lions, Harts, Leaping Does, was published in 1943.
Although Powers never graduated from Northwestern University, he did teach writing at several schools including St. John’s University, Marquette University, the University of Michigan and Smith College. He contributed stories to numerous periodicals like New Yorker, Nation and Collier’s. Powers lived in Ireland for thirteen years. After moving back and forth from Ireland, he settled with his family in Collegeville, Minnesota. He died in 1999.
(Suitable Accommodations is the story of a man at odds wit...)2013
(A collection of short stories about provincial life in th...)1975
(Wheat That Springeth Green, J. F. Powers's beautifully re...)1988
(The hero of J.F. Powers's comic masterpiece is Father Urb...)1962
Although Powers had studied with Franciscan friars as a child, Powers said he never seriously considered entering the priesthood.
Quotes from others about the person
“Frank O'Connor said J. F. Powers was "among the greatest living storytellers".”
Powers met and married Betty Wahl after reviewing a sample of Wahl's fiction. Powers and Wahl were married in 1946 after Wahl's graduation. They had five children.