The Eagle on the Coin  (1950)

R.V. Cassill's first novel is a frank and probing look at race relations in a small Midwest town in the 1950s, exploring race and
class in America in a way that is as timely today as when it first appeared in 1950.

 "A very impressive first novel by a talented writer."

                                                         — New York Herald Tribune

"A probing and profound look into America's soul."

                                                          Hartford Times

"Thought-provoking and well written."

                                                          Norfolk Pilot





Clem Anderson (1960)

Widely recognized as R.V. Cassill’s masterpiece, Clem Anderson is the story of an author whose astonishing talents are outmatched
only by his capacity for self-destruction. Arrogant, untrustworthy, moody, and narcissistic, Clem Anderson is also a brilliant artist
capable of astonishing feats of alchemy: with his pen, real life is magically transformed into the stuff of great literature. But the rising
tide of literary success is dangerous ground for a personality as unstable as Anderson’s, and when he dies at the age of forty,
alone and disgraced, it is up to his few remaining friends to pick up the pieces.

“The best novel I know of on the subject of writing, or on the condition of being a writer.” Richard Yates

"A brilliand satirical study as well as a masterful piece of comedy.  There is running commentary on the whole post-war generation
that gives the story a unifying resonance rare in most novels . . . Cassill is a master at showing us how.  it is this fascinating
how that makes Clem Anderson a major novel."    
                                           New York Times Book Review

"The best of the 1961 novels I have read.  Clem Anderson deserves the National Book Award."  Los Angeles Times

"Clem Anderson is that much-cited and seldom-seen phenomenon: a major novel."  Atlanta Journal & Constitution

"A massive, significant work . . . a gifted novelist."  Chicago Tribune

"Vivid, soaring - by any stardards this is a notable novel."  Saturday Review Syndicate






Pretty Leslie (1963)

Beautiful, intelligent, and charming, Leslie Daniels is the wife of a successful Illinois physician. To her friends and family, she is happily living the American dream. But there is a hidden side to Leslie, a side propelled by lust and unsettling impulses that run completely counter to her comfortable Midwestern routine.

“Here is the substance of great tragedy…Pretty Leslie is one of the most outstanding novels of the year.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"In many ways an American Madame Bovary, Pretty Leslie is a novel of unusual power.  Mr Cassill establishes himself as an observer of rare trenchancy.  His intelligence is tough; his grasp of character is breathtaking and his prose is always a delight.  Pretty Leslie is a jolting, disturbing book -- its revelation of the darkenss within will make some readers cringe, but it stamps Mr. Cassill as a writer of the first rank."

New York Times Book Review





The President (1964)

Major Royce Morgan came out of the Army in 1945 expecting soon to be the twelfth president of Wellford College. That is to say,
since the war had finally and decisively blunted his faith in the educability of the human species, he was finally ready
to accept the career of an educator.

"Intriguing and timely." — New Yorker

"Darkly humorous." — Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A perfect novel of Political Correctness run amok." — Chicago Sun Times

Campus politics worthy of a Greek Tragedy.” — Providence Journal






La Vie Passionnée of Rodney Buckthorne: 
A Tale of the Great American's Last Rally and Curious Death  (1968)

Is sex the basic force of life or is it a terminal disease? For Rodney Buckthorne, sensitive satyr, literate lecher, aging Bohemian
nearing the summit in a life-long struggle up the dizzying heights of Mount Venus, the answer to this question seemed near at hand.

"My favorite Cassill novel." Wirt Williams, author of The Trojans

"Sexy . . . funny . . . enlightening."  Playboy

"An extravagant romp through fields of literary sexuality."  Los Angeles Times






Doctor Cobb's Game  (1969)

Based on the outrageous events of England's Profumo Affair, R.V. Cassill’s bestselling novel is an unforgettable story of a lust powerful enough to topple a nation.

“A daring, enormously sexy book on themes of occult power, leadership and carnal love.” Newsweek

“His best book.” New York Times

“Besides his skill with characters, Cassill is remarkably adroit at capturing moods—domestic, supernatural, and, of course, psychosexual. I know of only two writers who rival him in this respect. Their names are D. H. Lawrence and Norman Mailer.” 
                           — John Leonard, The New York Times Book Review





The Goss Women  (1974)

The frenzy of a long life has cooled for Dean Goss. The maverick leader of American art hs settled down amid riches and fame after the death of his beautiful second wife. But his gifted son Jason becomes enchanted by a radiant and barbaric girl with a genius for disruption. The troubled Jason shows off this girl to his father - and the calm of his life's end is shattered for Dean Goss. Again he is swept into updrafts of creative and erotic forces. To ride these frenzied currents up beyond mortal ken is a challenge for a titan. The artist claims his greatness by accepting the gamble.

"A deep and exciting exploration of sex and creative energy. . . One of our finest American writers."  — James Dickey

"R.V. Cassill is our D.H. Lawrence; The Goss Women is his Women in Love with hooded, fierce touches of The Plumed Serpent." 
           — D. Keith Mano

"It's magic, a pure pleasure to read and a rich experience to remember."  — George Garrett





Hoyt's Child  (1976)

A novel about money and power: a modern day robber baron is faced with the crumbling of his financial empire and the kidnapping of his daughter by a group of radicals.

"Like Dreiser and Faulkner, Cassill takes the fragments of a sensational true story and weaves them into a compelling novel."
         — New York Times

"Cassill moves beyond the buzz and chatter of daily headlines to produce a memorable book." — Chicago Sun Times

"An unrelenting tour de force." — Washington Post

“A towering creation . . . a fiction as real and as possible as actual history.” — Houston Post

"Reads like an express train." — Louisville Herald Leader

"Taut . . . suspensful . . . a whirlwind. . ." — Denver Post





Labors of Love  (1980)

With two children, a summer home on Cape Cod, a wife at Harvard Business School, an inability to write the Great American
Novel, and a long-term mistress in Cincinnati pressing him to divorce, textbook editor Troy Slater must confront his
precarious existence.

Cassill has come up with sunken treasure again - it's wise, witty, beautifully crafted, full of tears and gutsy laughter."
     — James Dickey, Author of Deliverance

"There is tremendous vitality in this novel - in its volatile characters, its swift pacing, and its sharp evocation of nature. 
R.V. Cassill has written something rare and powerful."

     — Richard Yates, Author of Revolutionary Road

"A fast and funny novel...perfect entertainment." The Boston Globe

"One of the best books of the year." New York Times Book Review

"Many moments of insight, humor and passion which make it a highly readable and entertaining novel." — Hartford Courant

"With the irony of Updike, the bite of Albee, R.V. Cassill has written a deliciously 'true' novel of mid-life passage..." —Miami Herald





Flame  (1980)

"A dazzling, moving portrait."  —  San Diego Union Tribune

"A dark journey through the heart of Hollywood."  — Providence Journal

"Cassill's fictional Kelly Rayburn follows the same path as other Hollywood famous starlets like Susan Hayward and Marilyn Monroe."
Toronto Star





After Goliath  (1985)

Through the eyes of Joab, the King's good right arm, we see David the brawling warrior, the fool for love, the bedeviled father, the
consummate politician. We meet a lush Bathsheba who is both daffy and shrewd; an Absalom whose youthful audacity does
him in; a simpering Solomon whose precious ways lead his father grossly to underestimate his thirst for the purple.

Told in a melange of lively voices, the tale rises from burlesque to heroic comedy, from which emerges a mortal tower of a man.
Here is David, every inch of him King.

"Funny . . . irreverant . . . marvelous!"  New York Times

"A singularly distinct take on a time-honored story by one of America's best writers."  Boston Globe

"You will never look at the Bible quite the same way again."  Des Moines Register

"A comic tour de force."  Seattle Times




The Unknown Soldier  (1991)  



The Man Who Bought Magnitogorsk  




Jack Horner in Love and War (2015)










Short Story Collections




15 x 3  (1957)  (with Herbert Gold and James B. Hall)





The Father and Other Stories  (1965)

A masterful, multifaceted story collection from one of American literature’s most influential writers and teachers.

As a creative writing teacher whose students included Raymond Carver, Joy Williams, and Andre Dubus, and as longtime editor of
The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, R. V. Cassill profoundly impacted the development of the short story in America. The ten
stunning tales in The Father and Other Stories exhibit his mastery of the form and the breathtaking scope of his vision.

In “This Hand, These Talons,” a former combat pilot grapples with the dislocations of peacetime. “The Prize,” an O. Henry Award winner,
is a tender yet clear-eyed portrait of the growing pains of a Depression-era adolescence. “And in My Heart” is a richly nuanced portrayal
of a writing teacher’s obsessive involvement in the ill-fated romance of two of his students. The haunting title story, a widely anthologized masterpiece, illustrates a man’s descent into guilt and despair after he is forced to amputate his son’s hand to save the boy from dying
in a farming accident.

Across a broad range of characters, tones, and settings, Cassill finds beauty and insight wherever he looks. The Father and Other
Stories is proof of his tremendous skill as a storyteller and his enduring influence on contemporary literature.






The Happy Marriage and Other Stories  (1965)

Beautifully rendered and psychologically astute tales of life, family, and art from a true American master.

“The Sunday Painter,” a surprisingly comic tale, is the account of an amateur artist whose obsession with distilling his work to its
most basic form—light—leads to a mental breakdown. “The First Day of School” is a moving and intimately observed portrait
of the courage summoned by an African American family in the early days of integration. In “The Covenant,” a thirteen-year-old boy is confronted with his own mortality and instinctually redirects his anger and confusion elsewhere—the first lesson of adulthood.
Beneath the deceptively anecdotal narration of “The Swimmers at Pallikula” lie deep truths about the absurdity of life and death and
the eternal struggle for self-knowledge.

As the editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, a founder of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), and a
longtime teacher at the University of Iowa, Purdue University, and Brown University, R. V. Cassill influenced generations of
American authors. In The Happy Marriage and Other Stories, this expert craftsman is at his most varied and vital.




Three Stories  (1982)  



Patrimonies  (1988)  






Collected Stories  (1989)

Thirty-nine stories from one of America's most accomplished writers.

"Cassill has been a master of the American short story for forty years, and this is a brilliant showcase of his work."
     —  Oakley Hall

"In the world of short fiction, this collection of thirty-nine stories is a major event, for R.V. Cassill is a literary artist, a modern master of
short fiction. And here is his best work. Cassill's concept of the short-story form is lofty, his material treats the possibilities of humanity observed; he is disciplined and at the same time unusually sensitive to American life in full resonance." 

     — James B. Hall

"R.V. Cassill is a writer very much in the American vein; in this collection he captures the spirit of life at the heart of this country over
several decades. He is a master at compelling the reader's attention from the very first line of a story, pulling us into vivid and
memorable American lives." 

     Kit Reed

''Just about every story in this collection is a textbook example of what a piece of short fiction ought to be: immediately engaging,
swiftly paced, economical.''

     New York Times Book Review 



Late Stories  (1995)

Three outstanding stories by R.V. Cassill

The Partner  
The Husband Hunter








Paperback Novels 








The General Said "Nuts"  (1955)





Writing Fiction  (1975)

First published in 1963, this book has helped generations of aspiring writers with concise practical and philosophical advice.

In addition to being a bestselling author of over 20 novels and 60+ short stories, Cassill taught fiction writing to thousands of
students at various universities including Iowa, Purdue, Columbia, Harvard and Brown, with a long list of published writers
among those students.

This latest edition contains an additional previously unpublished essay: THE VISUAL ELEMENT IN FICTION.





In An Iron Time: Statements and Reiterations: Essays  (1967)

In this wide-ranging volume, R.V. Cassill has put together a collection of 15 of his own essays which he refers to as " a personal, critical appraisal of the crisis of our times as it is reflected, primarily, in literature."

As a writer and critic he is concerned about the prevailing American view of art that equates excellence and quality with price and best-sellerdom. His primary concern is with literature: the idolatry of “great books" that confuses literature as art with literature as print.

"What counts is not the proximity of good books but the good and bad usages of books, with the engagement of minds on the terrain of the book."





R.V. Cassill 'Festschrift' (special edition of December Magazine 1981)  








Norton Anthology of Short Fiction  (1978–2001)  (editor)  



Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction  (1998)  (editor with Joyce Carol Oates)  



    Italy and Greece: Watercolors by R.V. Cassill  



The Art of R.V. Cassill