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If it weren’t for Tim Page, the diaries of Dawn Powell wouldn’t be worth much. Mr. Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former music critic at The Washington Post (and before that a frequent contributor to The New York Times), has pretty much single-handedly engineered a revival of interest in Powell, a New York novelist greatly admired by critics like Gore Vidal and Edmund Wilson, but whose career, even during her lifetime, was always in need of a jump start. When she died in 1965, most of her 15 novels were out of print. She was buried in a potter’s field.
Starting in 1991, Mr. Page, who had discovered Powell by accident while reading a review in a collection of Wilson’s criticism, set about rekindling interest in her writing.