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Finding Aid for the Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills Collection (MUM00684)

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Descriptive Summary
PURL:
http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00684/
Title:
Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills Collection
Inclusive Dates:
1988-2001
Abstract:
Letters and photographs between Dr. Jerry Leath Mills and Mississippi author Larry Brown
Quantity:
1 box of letters and manuscripts; 1 folder of photographic materials
Number:
MUM00000
Repository :
The University of Mississippi
J.D. Williams Library
Department of Archives and Special Collections
University Archives
P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848, USA
(662) 915-7408
Cite as:
The Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills Collection, The Department of Archives & Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi.

Scope and Contents Note
Thirteen photographs, three typed manuscripts (two for "Fire Notes" and one for "A Roadside Resurrection"), and thirty one letters written by Larry Brown to former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill English professor Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills. At the time of the first letter from Larry Brown, Dr. Mills was also writing book reviews for newspapers across the South, and after he reviewed Larry Brown's first book Facing the Music in the Raleigh, NC Spectator, Mr. Brown wrote to Dr. Mills. A close friendship ensued over the years and their correspondence attests to this revealing the twists and turns of an author's life and the writing process. Mr. Brown and his editor at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill also asked Dr. Mills to read through drafts of his work "Fire Notes" which would later become the 1993 book On Fire.

Arrangement
Arrangement of letters is in chronological order with the copies of manuscripts following. The arrangement ends with copies of the original photographs which have been removed to cold storage for preservation.

Restrictions
Use Restriction
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use", that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Separated Material
Thirteen original photographs and twelve scanned copies with identifying information removed to Collections Photographs for preservation purposes.

Collection History
Processing Information
2007-19-02
Processed by Jennifer Ford.

Other Finding Aids
See also Larry Brown Manuscript Collections

Box and Folder Listing
Box 1
1.1. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Mr. Mills." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. October 21, 1988. 1 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Dr. Mills' review of Facing the Music in the Spectator; Algonquin Books and his editor Shannon Ravenel; reception of the book; friends in Oxford; Square Books and Richard Howorth; comparisons with Faulkner; Cormac McCarthy; Dirty Work.
Box 1
1.2. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jerry" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. October 30, 1988. 1 page letter..
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Tim McLaurin and The Acorn Plan (1988); Cormac McCarthy and his work; work at the fire department in Oxford, MS.
Box 1
1.3. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. May 22, 1989. 2 page letter..
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Their recent meeting in Chapel Hill; Clyde Edgerton; Cormac McCarthy's screenplay The Gardener's Son (1977); Peter Workman and Algonquin Books; James Seay; Eudora Welty, award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters; American Booksellers Association; Dirty Work; Samuel E. Chamberlain and Blood Meridian.
Box 1
1.4. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. June 18, 1989. 3 page letter..
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Tim McLaurin's illness; Cormac McCarthy; Clyde Edgerton; fishing; Richard Howorth; Larry McMurtry; Faulkner Conference at the University of Mississippi; American Booksellers Association; Roy Blount, Jr.; Dirty Work.
Box 1
1.5. A.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. July 1, 1989. 8 page letter.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Sardis lake; life at the firehouse; fishing; family; hunting; Tim McLaurin; Cormac McCarthy; Shannon Ravenel; Workman; Dirty Work; Corinth, MS; drinking laws in Mississippi; Elizabeth Spencer; Jill McCorkle.
Box 1
1.6. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. August 7, 1989. 1 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: reviews of Dirty Work; his reading at the Faulkner Conference; "Sleep"; "Big Bad Love"; the South; Tim McLaurin; William Faulkner; Cormac McCarthy; Jack Butler..
Box 1
1.7. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. September 16, 1989. 1 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Cormac McCarthy; Larry's "Today Show" appearance; Dirty Work; Clyde Edgerton; Joe; Tim McLaurin.
Box 1
1.8. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. October 27, 1989. 2 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: copy of the Carolina Quarterly; "Sleep"; Glennray Tutor and his artwork for Dirty Work; Tim McLaurin; American Playhouse and Dirty Work; hunting; new book; Pat Conroy.
Box 1
1.9. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. December 15, 1989. 3 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Christmas gift; students leaving Ole Miss for holidays; fire in the girls dormitory; resignation for the fire department and his concerns; play adaptation for American Playhouse; new novella with the possible title 92 Days; fishing and the Yocona River; Poke Boats; Algonquin and his decision to leave the fire department; Shannon Ravenel.
Box 1
1.10. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. May 30, 1990. 2 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Recent visit to North Carolina and fishing; settling differences between Algonquin and Houghton-Mifflin; Dirty Work in paperback with Vintage; Big Bad Love; Glennray Tutor; decision to build a cabin; Australian paper with Jake's list which included Larry's name as one of the best recent southern fiction writers; Clyde Edgerton; Tim McLaurin.
Box 1
1.11. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake." [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. May 1, 1990. 4 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: article by Jake on Larry's work; Shannon Ravenel; worries about possible reviews of Big Bad Love; fishing and the Yocona River; Tim McLaurin; family pets; possible visit to Chapel Hill; Clyde Edgerton; play; Glennray Tutor; Joe; Cormac McCarthy; worries about publishers; Shannon Ravenel.
Box 1
1.12. A.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. June 20, 1990. 2 page letter.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: American Booksellers Association; Cormac McCarthy; Dean Faulkner Wells; sending Jake a large portion of the typescript of Joe for his review; Tim McLaurin; dislike of traveling to New York City; Breadloaf Writer's Conference; Richard Ford; Clyde Edgerton; worries about possible reviews for Big Bad Love; deadlines.
Box 1
1.13. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. September 15, 1990. 2 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Bread Loaf Conference in Vermont; traveling; photographs of their fishing trip; Clyde Edgerton; low water and his pond; Cormac McCarthy; Vintage buying out Dirty Work; French scholar interested in his work; accepted reading appearance at Notre Dame; Will Blythe sent Larry a letter from Esquire asking for a story; The Paris Review looking at "A Roadside Resurrection"; William Faulkner's home; Kaye Gibbons; Vicki Covington; Tim McLaurin.
Box 1
1.14. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. September 30, 1990. 2 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Jake's recent review of Larry's work (Big Bad Love); "Sleep"; Rick Bass and the Dallas Morning News; fundraiser for the Harvey Gantt campaign and his reading; Jesse Helms; National Endowment for the Arts and possible grant; National Public Radio and Steven Molpus; Shannon Ravenel; recent visit to Jackson, MS to visit with Eudora Welty and smoking; Clyde Edgerton; Cormac McCarthy; hunting.
Box 1
1.15. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. October 23, 1990. 1 page letter.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Thanks for recent visit to Jake's home in North Carolina; Harry Crews' review for Big Bad Love in the L.A. Times; appointment to the associate staff at the Bread Loaf Conference in Vermont; story brought out either by the Paris Review or Esquire; Tim McLaurin.
Box 1
1.16. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. March 13, 1991. 2 page letter.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: finishing Joe; sending Jake a copy of the manuscript; Algonquin; visit last fall; catfish; Tim McLaurin; hope for different views of his writing with publication of Joe; the writing process; family; hunting; James Seay; Clyde Edgerton.
Box 1
1.17. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. October 6, 1991. 2 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: piece on Cormac McCarthy (written by Jake in the Contemporary Fiction Writers of the South); Clyde Edgerton; Dean Faulkner Wells; Richard Howorth; Harry Crews visit in a few weeks; Ann DeLisle; Suttree; The Orchard Keeper; Joe and use of his life experiences; Flannery O'Connor.
Box 1
1.18. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. October 31, 1991. 1 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: recent visit with Jake; taping of Gary Hawkins' documentary film, The Rough South of Harry Crews; John Sepich; George Plimpton; Tim McLaurin.
Box 1
1.19. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. June 23-24, 1993. 4 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: recent visit; Tim McLaurin's land; Clyde Edgerton; Harry Crews tape; Cormac review; Fred Chappell; Kenneth Holditch; deadlines; Fisketjon; Sonny Mehta; Jim Kilgo; Bland Simpson; Pinckney Benecdict; a copy of the London Times Literary Supplement with an unfavorable article on the work of Cormac McCarthy; Liz Dahransoff at Algonquin; Bob Shacochis; William Faulkner; Katherine Anne Porter; Albert Erskine.
Box 1
1.20. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. December 1, 1993. 3 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Cormac McCarthy's play The Stonemason; Suttree; stage version of Dirty Work; Clyde Edgerton and Sussan Ketchin; Harry Crews; James Seay; Tim McLaurin; Shelby Foote; coming to North Carolina; deer season; family; Algonquin.
Box 1
1.21. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. February 1, 1994. 1 page letter.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: early January 1994 staging of Dirty Work at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; book tour coming up; interview with The Independent; Shelby Foote; Cormac McCarthy; Fisketjon; Chattahoochee Review; Pete Hamil; Harry Crews; Skube; Wayne Pond.
Box 1
1.22. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. February 22, 1994. 1 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Pig business; Shane; trip to North Carolina; Tim McLaurin; fans; first printing of Joe has sold out; Absolut vodka out in Southern Accents; Cormac McCarthy ordering some of books from Square Books in Oxford, MS; Shelby Foote; Robert Olen Butler; Clyde Edgerton; Wallace Kuralt; Allan Gurganus; play; fishing; Tommy Lee Jones; Annie Dillard; Hal Crowther.
Box 1
1.23. A.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. July 26, 1994. 5 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: fall of pecan limb on Larry; Emory reading; Faulkner Conference; family pets; work on Father and Son; Algonquin; Cormac McCarthy; The Crossing; William Faulkner; Fetzer Mills; Clyde Edgerton; Vermont and the Bread Loaf Conference; family; hunting and fishing; The Pugilist at Rest; The Rifles; Barry Gifford and the screenplay for On the Road; possible movie of Dirty Work; possible screenrights to Joe.
Box 1
1.24. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. August 25, 1994. 2 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Cormac McCarthy and The Crossing; John Irving's reading; family; Fetzer and Becky Mills; Mark Richard; Amy Hempel; family pets; Ole Miss trying to raise money to put on Dirty Work for the Conference on the Book; fishing; Clyde Edgerton's manuscript for Redeye; Jake's article, "The Dead Mule Rides Again" in Southern Cultures 6 (Winter 2000) 11-34.
Box 1
1.25. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. June 22, 1995. 5 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: marriage of Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills and Dr. Rachel Victoria Mills (June 17, 1995 in Chapel Hill, NC); Clyde Edgerton; Dirty Work play in Dallas; play moving to Ghana; Cormac McCarthy and his play The Stone Mason; Wayne Pond; John Grisham's new movie shooting in Mississippi; Gary Fisketjon; traveling; new novel (Father and Son); Mark Richard; Doug Martin; family; The Oxford American; starting another novel; fishing; Blues Conference at the University of Mississippi; Faulkner Conference and the Elvis Conference; Thom Jones; Guggenheim; Louis D. Rubin, Jr.
Box 1
1.26. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. November 26, 1996. 3 page letter..
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Recent visit to North Carolina; Clyde Edgerton; fishing and hunting; traveling and sickness; working on the screenplay for Dirty Work; Sundance Film Festival; Jeremy Horton; Harry Crews; Jim Varney; 100 Proof; working on Billy Ray's Farm; working also on Wild Child (published as Fay in 2000); retirement; book reviews..
Box 1
1.27. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. July 12, 1998.. 3 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Bland Simpson's book Into the Sound Country (1997); Algonquin and Fay; Cormac McCarthy; Gary Fisketjon; Jay McInerney; Richard and Lisa Howorth; hunting; Cities of the Plain; family; plays from his work in L.A.; Sundance Film Festival and 100 Proof; Tom Rankin.
Box 1
1.28. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. September 14-16, 1998. 3 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Cows on the farm; building a little house on the back bank of his pond; Big, Bad, Love; Jake's offer to read draft; revisions and writing schedule; possible visit to Chapel Hill; Tom Rankin, Clyde Edgerton; and Tim McLaurin; family and children; garden; his picture in Sports Afield; script for All the Pretty Horses; music; Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award.
Box 1
1.29. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. February 10, 1999. 2 page letter.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Ted Tally's script; Tally's possible work on the script for Father and Son; possibility of working with Billy Bob Thornton and Joe; heard that Cormac McCarthy was ill; revisions on most recent book; won the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest award; Andre Dubus; visiting writer; hunting; Billy Ray.
Box 1
1.30. T.L. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. May 21, 2000. 2 page letter (fragment).
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Kevin Canty; George Saunders; reviews of Fay; Max Childers; Arliss Howard and the script for "Big Bad Love" (really "92 Days"); "Dirty Work" play at the Loretta Theatre in Hollywood; possible Joe film with Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie; visit to Montana.
Box 1
1.31. T.L.S. Larry Brown to "Jake" [Dr. Jerry "Jake" Leath Mills]. January 18, 2001. 2 page letter. With envelope.
Note: also includes Dr. Mills' description of the contents of the letter. Re: Talks about seeing them at Tim and Carol McLaurin's wedding at the home of Lee Smith and Hal Crowther in Hillsborough, NC in November, 2000; hunting; glad that Jake likes the new book (Billy Ray's Farm); reading Madison Jones' work; Debra Winger and Big Bad Love; possible CD for the movie; party for Barry Hannah; Jonny Miles; and work.
Box 1
1.32. TMs. Annotated copy of "Roadside Resurrection.". [1990]. 44 page manuscript.
Note on front of manuscript reads, "forthcoming in Paris Review 1991".
Box 1
1.33. T.L.S. Copy of letter from Shannon Ravenel to Larry Brown. And TMs. "Fire Notes.". January 28, 1993. 4 page photocopied letter. 245 page clean copy of manuscript.
Re: Letter from Shannon Ravenel to Larry gives suggestions for changes to the manuscript "Fire Notes." She notes that Jake had met with her to discuss the book also. She gives her suggestions with Jake's and those of Ina and Liz also. She also gives a possible calendar for revisions to get to her.
Box 1
1.34. TMs. Photocopy of annotated manuscript for "Fire Notes.". [1993]. 121 page photocopied manuscript.
Box1
1.35. Photocopies of original photographs removed to cold storage.. . .
These photographs contain several images of Larry Brown with friends, especially with Jake Mills..