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Golden Spiders and Black Orchids: A 'Satisfactory' Look into the Life and Mysteries of Rex Stout

October 2019 - January 2020
Burns Library

Rex Stout, perhaps best known for the Nero Wolfe detective novels, was an author and political activist, as well as an avid chef and gardener. While the colorful characters of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin make lasting impressions which continue to attract readers, Stout was himself a character. Many argue that his eccentricities, such as his devotion to his beard, cooking, and gardening, were his inspiration when creating the character of Wolfe, the crotchety detective who rarely left his home and spent much of his time working with his orchids or indulging in his love of fine food. Using five collections from Burns Library, this exhibit explores Stout’s fiction and its adaptations, his political activism, and his hobbies.

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