Glenway Wescott was the author of novels, poetry, short stories, and essays. Born on a farm outside Kewaskum, Wisconsin, on April 11, 1901, he began his post-secondary studies at the University of Chicago in 1917 but only completed three semesters, because he contracted the Spanish flu in 1919. While recuperating, he made the acquaintance of and began a relationship with Monroe Wheeler, which lasted until Wescott's death in 1987.
After his health improved, Wescott moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and stayed with his friend Yvor Winters. While there, he produced a group of poems, The Bitterns, which was published by Monroe Wheeler in 1920. In late 1921, Wescott and Wheeler made their first trip to Europe. After returning to New York City with Monroe Wheeler in 1922, Wescott finished his first novel, The Apple of the Eye, published in 1924.
In 1925, Wescott and Wheeler returned to Europe and, in 1926, moved to Villefranche, in the south of France. In France, they became friends with many other artists, including W. Somerset Maugham, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jean Cocteau, Ford Madox Ford, and Isadora Duncan. Wescott published his second work of fiction, The Grandmothers, a series of sketches drawn from his early memories, in 1927. This was followed the next year by his collection of short stories, Good-bye Wisconsin.
Wescott lived with Wheeler in France through 1934, alternating between Villefranche and Paris with occasional trips to New York. During one of these trips to New York in 1927, they met photographer George Platt Lynes. Between 1930 and 1935, Wheeler published fine press editions of belle-lettres texts with Barbara Harrison under the Harrison of Paris imprint. Also, during this period, Katherine Anne Porter became friends with Wescott, Wheeler, Harrison, and Lynes. She remained friends and corresponded with them for many decades. Harrison of Paris published Katherine Anne Porter's French Song-Book in 1932 and Hacienda in 1934. In 1935, Barbara Harrison married Wescott's younger brother, Lloyd, and, with the dissolution of Harrison of Paris, the Wescotts and Wheeler moved back to the United States. Glenway Wescott and Wheeler set up households on a farm in New Jersey owned by Barbara Harrison and Lloyd Wescott and in various New York City apartments with George Platt Lynes.
After returning to the United States, Wescott continued to write, publishing The Pilgrim Hawk in 1940 and Apartment in Athens in 1945. Between 1945 and 1962, when he published Images of Truth: Remembrances and Criticism, Wescott lectured, wrote reviews and criticism, served as president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and worked on a number of novels. In 1963, he began working on the Letters to a Circle of Friends 1933-1962: Thirty Years of Friendship, an edition of letters documenting the friendships among Katherine Anne Porter, Wescott, Monroe Wheeler, Barbara Harrison Wescott, George Platt Lynes, and Russell Lynes, brother of George Platt Lynes and editor of Harper's Magazine. The book was never completed. When Isabel Bayley became Katherine Anne Porter's literary trustee in 1983, Wescott gave all of the materials he had amassed for the project to Bayley, whose edition, Letters of Katherine Anne Porter, was published in 1990.
Wescott died on February 22, 1987.