Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor (1917-1994) was an American writer known for his short stories and novels that intricately depicted the changes in the Southern United States after World War II. He is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel 'A Summons to Memphis' (1986) and his short story collections such as 'The Old Forest and Other Stories' (1985). Taylor's work often explored themes of family, tradition, and identity, and he is celebrated for his nuanced characterizations and his evocative portrayal of the American South.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Old Forest

    "The Old Forest" is a collection of short stories set in the American South, primarily in Memphis, Tennessee during the early to mid-20th century. The stories explore themes of social change, class conflict, and personal identity. The title story revolves around a car accident that leads to a young woman's disappearance and the subsequent search for her, revealing the societal tensions and class divisions within the community.

  2. 2. A Summons to Memphis

    This novel tells the story of a New York editor who is called back to his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, by his two manipulative older sisters to help them prevent their elderly father from remarrying. As he becomes embroiled in their family drama, he reflects on his upbringing in the South, his father's tyrannical rule over the family, and the impact it had on his life. The narrative explores themes of family, memory, and the passage of time.

  3. 3. Collected Stories of Peter Taylor

    The "Collected Stories of Peter Taylor" is a compilation of narratives that explore the nuances of Southern life, specifically focusing on the middle and upper-middle classes. The stories delve into the complexities of familial relationships, societal expectations, and the changing cultural landscape of the South during the 20th century. The author's keen observations and rich character development provide a vivid and insightful view into the human condition and the intricacies of Southern life.