Tito Perdue’s The Philatelist is a novella about the joys of stamp collecting as a refuge from an unhappy life. The Philatelist is paired with the short story “Good Things in Tiny Places,” read on the occasion of the author receiving the 2015 H. P. Lovecraft Prize for Literature.
“It happens more than just sometimes that overly refined persons like thee and me may opt to turn away from ordinary things and seek entry into a more perfect world than this one. I’m thinking about art galleries, concert halls, coin and stamp collections, ingenious mechanical devices or a well-played chess match. People like you spend too much time gazing at the stars while others, like my good friend who offers us a case study of the type, has traded away his life in a still-continuing struggle to assemble a non-representative array of the world’s most beautiful postage stamps. A little custodial ‘art gallery,’ he calls it, his own bespoken domain after three failed marriages and a deleterious son. All the elements, I’ve been told, can be found in a single drop of sea water. So, too, with a choice collection of the world’s postage brought together for aesthetic purposes. Thus my friend. One doesn’t need to be a good person, remember, to be extraordinarily interesting anyway.” — From the author
About the Author
Tito Perdue was born in 1938 in Chile, the son of an electrical engineer from Alabama. The family returned to Alabama in 1941, where Tito graduated from the Indian Springs School, a private academy near Birmingham, in 1956. He then attended Antioch College in Ohio for a year, before being expelled for cohabitating with a female student, Judy Clark. In 1957, they were married, and remain so today. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1961, and spent some time working in New York City, an experience which garnered him his life-long hatred of urban life. After holding positions at various university libraries, Tito has devoted himself full-time to writing since 1983.
Tito Perdue is the author of seventeen other novels, including Lee (1991), The New Austerities (1994), Opportunities in Alabama Agriculture (1994), The Sweet-Scented Manuscript (2004), Fields of Asphodel (2007), The Node (2011), Morning Crafts (2013), Reuben (2014), the William’s House quartet (2016), Cynosura (2017), Philip (2017), The Bent Pyramid (2018), Though We Be Dead, Yet Our Day Shall Come (2018), and The Philatelist (2018).
In 2015, he received the H. P. Lovecraft Prize for Literature.