Scope and arrangement
The papers of Frances Kiernan span the years of 1976 to 1988 and document her career as a fiction editor at The New Yorker. The collection consists primarily of correspondence (approximately 550 items) from writers who were either submitting material for publication or responding to editorial queries; many of the letters are fairly informal in nature. Also present are notes to and from Kiernan's New Yorker colleagues discussing the merits of various submissions. In addition, the collection includes twenty-three fiction manuscripts (annotated by both Kiernan and the authors), some handwritten, some typed, and some in the form of galley proofs. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically solely by the first letter of the author's last name; the papers remain in the order in which Kiernan arranged them. The manuscripts are also in the same order in which they were received from Frances Kiernan.
While the collection contains letters and manuscripts from approximately sixty-five writers, the most extensive correspondence comes from the following people: Alice Adams, Alan Cheuse, Laura Furman, John Gardiner, Mark Helprin, John McGahern, W. S. Merwin, Edna O'Brien, Cynthia Ozick, Lore Segal, and Peter Taylor.