William Goyen (1915-1983) was one of the most original and passionate of American fiction writers. He was born and grew up in Texas, served in the Navy during World War II, lived afterward in Taos, Manhattan, and elsewhere, and finally in Los Angeles, where he died. His first book, The House of Breath, remains a moving and compelling American experiment in fiction. His short stories have earned the highest praise. The House of Breath, and his second novel, published posthumously, Half a Look of Cain, as well as his last novel, Arcadio, have all been reprinted by Northwestern University Press.
Goyen intended "Precious Door" to be the title story of a new collection, but this volume remained unpublished at the time of his death, and the story was later included in his posthumous selected stories, Had I a Hundred Mouths. He also wrote several plays which were produced in New York and in Providence, R.I. An interview with Goyen may be found on line in the Paris Review interview series. That interview, as well as one with TriQuarterly, may also be found in a posthumous volume of his autobiographical writings, Goyen: Autobiographical Essays, Notebooks, Evocations and Interviews (Univ. of Texas Press, 2007).