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R O B E R T   L A X A L T   Writing The Basque Hotel: Input from Reviewers

exampleAs the former Director of the University of Nevada Press, which was to publish his trilogy, Robert Laxalt was keenly aware of the importance of objective peer review of manuscripts in process. Four readers were assigned to review and evaluate a draft of The Basque Hotel (at that time entitled The French Hotel) in 1988. Their comments were then passed along to the author without attribution. Laxalt's notations are written on his copies of the reviewer comments, and his response is further detailed in a memo to the Director of the University Press, his editor, and Members of the Editorial Advisory Board. The draft that was submitted, along with earlier and later versions, is available to researchers in Special Collections in the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries. See the Guide to the Robert Laxalt Papers for detailed information.



There is some evidence that Robert Laxalt sought the opinions of colleagues or friends of an earlier draft of the novel, as indicated by a page of notes written in an unidentified hand, with comments interspersed in Laxalt's own handwriting. Brief notes to himself are also present in his papers.

Undoubtedly, some of Laxalt's writing decisions were influenced by earlier comments from editors to whom he submitted stories and articles, and by reviews of his earlier novels:

  • Wickenden, Dan. "Old Man Goes Home, A Moving Chronicle." New York Herald Tribune (Sep. 22, 1957)
  • Williamson, Norma B. "Sweet Promised Land." National Review (Sep. 11, 1987). Vol. 39, no. 17, p. 70.
  • Man in the Wheatfield. (Book Review) Western American Literature Summer 1988 v23 p171
  • Sullivan, Jack. A cup of tea in Pamplona. The New York Times Book Review May 18, 1986 v91 p25 col 1
  • In A Hundred Graves. (Book Review). Booklist Dec 15, 1975 p563
  • In A Hundred Graves. (Book Review). Booklist May 15, 1973 p888
  • In A Hundred Graves. (Book Review). Library Journal April 15, 1973 p1283
  • A Man In The Wheatfield. (Book Review). CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries July 1965 p298
  • A Man In The Wheatfield. (Book Review). New Statesman (1996) March 26, 1965 p500
  • A Man In The Wheatfield. (Book Review). The Virginia Quarterly Review Spring 1965 pXLI
  • A Man In The Wheatfield. (Book Review). TLS. Times Literary Supplement March 11, 1965 p201
  • A Man In The Wheatfield. (Book Review). Critic Feb 1965 p88


University LibrariesUniversity of Nevada, Reno • Contact Donnelyn Curtis • Updated 3 September, 2014