Tito Perdue was born in 1938 in Chile, South America where his father, an Alabama native, was employed as an electrical engineer with the Braden Copper Company. Returning to the United States in 1941, his family settled in Anniston, Alabama, remaining there until his father’s employer relocated to St. Louis in 1955. In 1956 Tito graduated from Indian Springs School, a private academy located south of Birmingham, and was admitted to Antioch College in Ohio, an institution from which he was expelled in 1957 for having cohabited off-campus with the former Judy Clark, also an Antioch student. They were married later that year, both at age 18, and are together still.
Tito attended the University of Texas in 1957-59 and 1960-61, receiving the B.A. at the end of that period. His daughter Melanie was born in January, 1959, in Austin Texas. During 1959-60, he worked as an assistant bookkeeper in the financial district of New York City. He returned to New York after graduation from the University of Texas and was employed for one year as an insurance underwriter, an experience affectionately described in his novel The New Austerities. He attended Indiana University 1965-68, receiving the MLS degree and the MA in Modern European History.
Tito was employed by The University of Iowa Libraries in 1968-70, and then began work as Social Sciences Bibliographer at Iowa State University, a position held for ten years ending in 1980. He became Assistant Director of the State University of New York at Binghamton Library in early 1980 and left in 1982 to become Associate Director of the Emory University Library. He was discharged from that position in early 1983 as a result of policy disagreements and opted to devote himself full-time thereafter to novel writing.
In 1991 his first published novel Lee was issued by Four Walls Eight Windows, a small press in New York City. The book received favorable reviews in The New York Times and elsewhere, being declared “spellbinding” by The New England Review of Books and “a stunning debut” by The Los Angeles Reader. Among negative reviews, Publishers’ Weekly exposed the book as the work of a reactionary snob and showed that “it sinks under the weight of its own pretensions.”
In 1994 his novel The New Austerities was published to very good reviews as also his somewhat experimental Opportunities in Alabama Agriculture, a story based upon the history of his forebears on his mother’s side. Extremely favorable and extended reviews were provided by Thomas Fleming, editor of Chronicles; A Magazine Of American Culture, and by columnist Jim Knipfel of The New York Press.
The Sweet-Scented Manuscript, a more-than-semi-autobiographical novel was published in 2004 by Baskerville Publishers, and in 2007 a paperback edition of Lee was issued by The Overlook Press. Tito's most recent novel, Fields of Asphodel also appeared in 2007 from the same publisher.
Tito determined to become a writer as a result of having read the novels of Thomas Wolfe when he was an adolescent. Since that time he has been writing, or preparing to write (or resuscitating), for a period of about forty years.
Depending upon the weather and the day of the week, Tito admires Orwell, Faulkner, Dostoevky, Hardy and the nearly-forgotten Ladislas Reymont. Among current American authors he prefers Larry Brown, William Gay, and Wendell Berry. His (Tito’s) taste in music runs to Wagner and Mahler.
Agent: Stephany Evans
Author: Tito Perdue