Donald Windham

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Donald Windham (July 2, 1920 – May 31, 2010) was an American novelist and memoirist. He is perhaps best known for his close friendships with Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Windham moved with his then-boyfriend Fred Melton, an artist, to New York City in 1939. Windham collaborated with Williams on his own play, You Touched Me!,[1] based on a D.H. Lawrence story, in 1942. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1960.[2]

Windham became estranged from Williams in the Seventies after Williams published his Memoirs (1975). Windham later published a volume of their correspondence, which Williams claimed was done without his permission. Windham remained a friend of Capote until Capote's death. Windham also met and befriended such diverse figures as Lincoln Kirstein, Pavel Tchelitchew and Paul Cadmus.

In 1943, Windham met Sandy Campbell, an undergraduate student at Princeton University. In 1943 they began a relationship that would last until Campbell's death in 1988. Campbell frequently helped Windham publish books through the Stamperia Valdonega in Verona, Italy. Partially because Windham was influenced by his own life, homosexuality is one of many themes treated in his work.

Windham's novels include The Dog Star (1950), praised by André Gide and Thomas Mann, The Hero Continues (1960), which was likely based on Williams, Two People (1965) about a love affair between a New York stockbroker whose wife has left him and a 17-year-old Italian boy in Rome, and Tanaquil (1972), based on the life of George Platt Lynes. Lost Friendships, a memoir of his friendship with Capote and Williams, was published in 1987. It has been regarded by some as his best book.

In June 2011 it was announced that Yale University will administer the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes.


  • Kellner, Bruce. Donald Windham: A Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press, 1991. ISBN 0-313-26857-6
  1. ^ "Internet Broadway Database entry". Retrieved June 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Donald Windham - 1960 - US & Canada Competition Creative Arts - Fiction". Retrieved June 16, 2011. 

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