Robert Penn Warren (born in 1905 in Kentucky, USA, died in 1989) was an American writer and literary critic. Warren studied and later taught literature both at Yale University in the United States as well as at Oxford University in the UK.
In 1947, Warren was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel All the King’s Men. He went on to win the Pulitzer Prize twice again, both times for poetry in 1958 and 1979 respectively. Over the course of his writing career, Warren was awarded several prizes and honors for his achievements in literature, most notably the MacArthur Genius Grant, the National Medal of Arts as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.
As a literary critic, Warren was one of the founders of New Criticism, an American movement in literary theory that relied heavily on close readings and sought to view every piece of writing as a self-contained, independent work of art, without interpreting it in a wider historical or biographical context.
A passionate Agrarian Southerner himself, Warren as a writer dealt with idealistic individuals facing moral dilemmas and corruption in the traditional rural American South and are of distinctively political nature. Warren’s style of language has been described by many as an elegant mixture of scholarly and conversational, featuring both highly stylistic writing devices as well as Southern colloquialisms.
The Circus in the Attic, published in 1948, is a collection of stories, featuring 12 short stories and 2 novelettes.