JAMES JONES literary society


James Jones (1921-1977), one of the major novelists of his generation, is known primarily as the author of fiction that probes the effects of World War II on the individual soldier. Born in Robinson, Illinois, Jones entered the U.S. Army and had the distinction of being the only individual who would become a major writer to witness the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. A member of the 27th U.S. Infantry Regiment (25th Division), Jones was wounded at Guadalcanal and returned to Robinson, where he started to write about his experiences. After shelving his unpublished first novel, "They Shall Inherit the Laughter," Jones completed the critically acclaimed international bestseller From Here to Eternity (1951). He assisted in the creation of the Handy Writers' Colony in Marshall, Illinois (which lasted from 1949 to 1964) before taking up residence in Paris as part of the Second Generation of American Expatriate writers and artists. Jones's other novels are Some Came Running (1957), The Pistol (1959), The Thin Red Line (1962), Go to the Widow-Maker (1967), The Merry Month of May (1971), A Touch of Danger (1973), and Whistle (1978). Jones published an acclaimed short-story collection, The Ice-Cream Headache and Other Stories (1968), a nonfictional history of World War II from the viewpoint of the soldier, World War II (1975), and a book of essays, Viet Journal (1975). Jones also published short fiction and articles throughout his adult life.

The James Jones Literary Society was founded in 1991 to honor the life and works of James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity, The Thin Red Line and other works of significant literary and cultural significance.


The non-profit organization originated at Lincoln Trail College in Jones’ hometown of Robinson, Illinois. Over the years, the JJLS has hosted a number of symposiums that have brought together scholars, writers, students and readers in appreciation of Jones’ significant contributions to American literature.


Each year, the JJLS presents the highly competitive $10,000 First Novel Fellowship to an unpublished writer of a novel-in-progress. The award honors the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture exemplified by Jones in his life and work.


For more information about The James Jones Literary Society and to inquire about how to join this organization, write to P.O. Box 68, Robinson, IL 62454.


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