James Rufus Agee was born November 27, 1909, in Knoxville, Tennessee, to Hugh James Agee, who came from a working-class family in a small Appalachian town, and Laura Tyler Agee, whose middle-class family came from Michigan. The facts surrounding Agee's birth, with their potential for class and regional conflict, would determine much of the direction of his future writing. In his fiction, poetry, and journalistic writing, Agee's major interests centered on the insecurity of childhood, the psychological conflicts of family life, and the vulnerability of all human beings within society. As a result of his childhood crises, especially the sudden death of his father on May 18, 1916, Agee grew up to be a person overwhelmed by a sense of guilt …
Folks, Jeffrey J.. "James Agee". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000; last revised 30 November -1.
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