Janet Lewis wrote many books of poetry and historical fiction, including The Wife of Martin Guerre. She was married to the poet and critic Yvor Winters. Janet Lewis died in 1998 at the age of 99. Janet Lewis was a novelist, poet, and short-story writer whose literary career spanned almost the entire twentieth century. The New York Times has praised her novels as "some of the 20th century's most vividly imagined and finely wrought literature." Born and educated in Chicago, she lived in California for most of her adult life and taught at both Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. Her works include The Wife of Martin Guerre (1941), The Trial of Soren Qvist (1947), The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron (1959), Good-Bye, Son and Other Stories (1946), and Poems Old and New (1982).
"One of the most significant short novels in English." - Atlantic Monthly "Lewis wrote her vibrant novella in 1941 as the first in her Cases of Circumstantial Evidence trilogy, which Swallow Press has brought back into print. The mystery here is not Martin's identity, but why Janet Lewis remains obscure." - NewPages "Flaubertian in the elegance of its form and the gravity of its style." - The New Yorker "Ohio University Press/Swallow Press is reissuing all three novels in Lewis's Cases of Circumstantial Evidence series in new editions with fancy new covers. They're gorgeous." - The Book Haven "One of (the short novel's) most perfect examples is Janet Lewis's The Wife of Martin Guerre." - Michael Dirda, The Washington Post "When the literary history of the second millennium is written at the end of the third, in the category of dazzling American short fiction (Janet Lewis's) Wife of Martin Guerre will be regarded as the 20th century's Billy Budd and Janet Lewis will be ranked with Herman Melville." - New York Times "A relentless and draining novel sans merci, all the way to its ruthless end." - The Book Haven "The Wife of Martin Guerre by Janet Lewis is one of the most resonant short novels I can remember. I greatly like two other books she wrote: The Trial of Soren Qvist and The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron. She never got the attention she deserved." - Evan S. Connell, Jr.