Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor

Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor

Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor

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For other people named Peter Taylor, see Peter Taylor.

Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor (January 8, 1917 – November 2, 1994) was a U.S. author and writer.


Born in Trenton, Tennessee to a wealthy Nashville family, Taylor spent his early childhood in Nashville. The family moved to St. Louis in 1926 when Taylor's father, lawyer Matthew Hillsman Taylor, became president of the General American Life Insurance Company. In St. Louis, Taylor attended the Rossman School and St. Louis Country Day School. In 1932, the family moved to Memphis, where his father established a law practice. Taylor graduated from Central High School in Memphis in 1935. After a gap year in which he traveled to England, Taylor enrolled at Southwestern at Memphis in 1936, studying under the critic Allen Tate. Tate encouraged Taylor to transfer to Vanderbilt University, which he later left to continue studying with the great American critic and poet John Crowe Ransom at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, along with the poet Robert Lowell. He was also friends with Robert Penn Warren, Randall Jarrell, Katherine Anne Porter, Jean Stafford, Robie Macauley and other significant literary figures of the time.

Considered to be one of the finest American short story writers, Taylor's fictional milieu is the urban South. His characters, usually middle or upper class people, often are living in a time of change and struggle to discover and define their roles in society.

Peter Taylor also wrote three...
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