Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Wakefield mss., 1950-2011, consist of the papers of Hoosier novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Dan Wakefield (b. 1932). Wakefield was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated with honors from New York City's Columbia College in 1955. Pursuing a career as a journalist, Wakefield wrote about political and social issues for The Nation, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, and other publications. Eventually he turned to fiction and wrote the best selling novels Going All the Way (1970) and Starting Over (1973), both of which were later adapted into feature films. Additionally, Wakefield has addressed spiritual concerns, namely in his nonfiction books Creating from the Spirit (1996) and How Do We Know When It's God?: A Spiritual Memoir (1999). Over the years, he has taught writing at various academic institutions and currently holds the position of Writer in Residence at Florida International University in Miami.

The collection is organized into three series, which adhere closely to the original order of the papers: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Additional Materials.

Correspondents include: Barry Alexander, Jay Allen, Sam Astrachan, Barb Auerback, Eve Babitz, Dan Balz, Roger Bernhardt, Kay Boyle, Brock Browers, William F. Buckley, Jr., Knox Burger, Elise B. Cassel, John Ciardi, Jill Clayburgh, Nancy Day, Joan Didion, Digby Diehl, John Dos Passos, John Gregory Dunne, Sy Epstein, Werner Erhard, Robert Falk, Mia Farrow, Barney Frank, Daniel Freeman, Bruce Jay Friedman, John Gibson, Herbert Gold, Sam Goldstein, Will Higgins, Fanny Howe, Irving Howe, Carol Hull, IFIF (Timothy Leary), Pauline Kael, Wayne Kelley, Larry L. King, William Kotzwinkle, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, Seymour Lawrence, Madeline L'Engle, Richard Levine, Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Rose McGowan, Don McKinney, Albert McKisio, Diane McWhorter, Louis Menand, Richard Moore, Toni Morrison, Bill Moyers, Ray Mungo, Shirley Nelson, Agnes Nixon, Alan T. Nolan, Joan Norris, Shaun O'Connell, Robert B. Parker, Peggy Paynell, Joe Pilati, Norman Podhoretz, Arabel Porter, John Powers, Reynolds Price, Neal Raismon, Robert Redford, Richard Robbins, Jan Rosenberg, Chris Scholes, Carl Scovel, Anne Sexton, Mark Strand, Susan Sullivan, Gay Talese, Jim Thom, George B. Thomas, Lionel Trilling, Mark Van Doren, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Vonnegut, Helen Weaver, John Williams, Miller Williams, Nancy Williams, Ted Williams, Frederick Wiseman, Stephen Wright, Richard Yates.

Writings include drafts and proofs for Going All the Way, Starting Over, James at 15, New York in the Fifties, Returning, Selling Out, Creating from the Spirit, How Do We Know When It's God?, Kurt Vonnegut: Letters (edited by Wakefield), and several other published and unpublished stories, novels, nonfiction works, essays, articles, and screenplays.

Additional materials include journals, newspaper clippings, tear sheets, business records, class materials, scrapbooks, photographs, and audio-visual materials.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 1998, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2013

Collection size: 100,000 items

NOTE: Access to this collection requires advance notice. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for additional information.

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.