Peter De Vries
De Vries, Peter (27 February 1910 - 28 September 1993)
A writer and editor, De Vries was for a time an editor of Poetry and later was on the staff of The New Yorker, where he was known for his humorous, sophisticated work about Connecticut.
De Vries had four children with wife Katinka Loeser: Jon, Derek, Jan, and Emily, who died at the age of 10 of leukemia. This experience provided the inspiration for his 1961 work, The Blood of the Lamb, in which he wrote,
- You don’t believe in God,” I said to Stein.
- “God is a word banging around in the human nervous system. He exists about as much as Santa Claus.”
- “Santa Claus has had a tremendous influence, exist or not.”
- “For children.”
- “Lots of saints have died for God with a courage that’s hardly childish”
- “That’s part of the horror. It’s all a fantasy. It’s all for nothing.”
- “You ought to be ashamed,” a woman in an Easter bonnet told Stein. “Your race gave us our religion. . . . From ancient polytheism, the belief in lots of gods,” the woman continued a little more eruditely, “the Hebrew nation led us on to the idea that there is only one.”
- “Which is just a step from the truth,” said_Stein.
De Vries, a freethinker and humanities humanist, was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In 1979 he received an honorary degree from Susquehanna University. In 1993, he died in Norwalk, Connecticut.
- But Who Wakes the Bugler? (Boston: Houghton, 1940).
- The Handsome Heart (New York: Coward-McCann, 1943).
- Angels Can't Do Better (New York: Coward-McCann, 1944).
- No, but I Saw the Movie (Boston: Little, Brown, 1952).
- The Tunnel of Love (Boston: Little, Brown, 1954).
- Comfort Me With Apples (Boston: Little, Brown, 1956).
- The Mackerel Plaza (Boston: Little, Brown, 1958).
- The Tents of Wickedness (Boston: Little, Brown, 1959).
- Through the Fields of Clover (Boston: Little, Brown, 1961).
- The Blood of the Lamb (Boston: Little, Brown, 1962).
- Reuben, Reuben (Boston: Little, Brown, 1964).
- Let Me Count the Ways (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965).
- The Vale of Laughter (Boston: Little, Brown, 1967).
- The Cat's Pajamas and Witch's Milk (Boston: Little, Brown, 1968).
- Mrs. Wallop (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970).
- Into Your Tent I'll Creep (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971).
- Without a Stitch in Time (Boston: Little, Brown, 1972).
- Forever Panting (Boston: Little, Brown, 1973).
- The Glory of the Humming Bird (Boston: Little, Brown, 1974).