Writer and scholar who helped to establish the Library of America, a non-profit publisher of American classic novels. He also published The Americanist, an autobiography, in 2007.
He attended both the University of Michigan and Harvard University. He published his first work, Men of Good Hope, in 1951.
He taught English and American Literature at Smith College and Harvard University and published numerous scholarly articles during his university tenure.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He later relocated to Massachusetts.
He and fellow author Renata Adler were both inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.