Stark Young (October 11, 1881 – January 6, 1963) was an American teacher, playwright, novelist, painter, literary critic and essayist.
Stark Young was born in Como, Mississippi to Mary Clark Starks and Alfred Alexander Young, a local physician.
He entered the University of Mississippi at the age of 15 and graduated from that institution in 1901. He completed his Master's Degree at Columbia University in 1902.
Young taught at the University of Mississippi in 1905-1907, and then moved to the University of Texas at Austin. There he established the Texas Review and became involved with theater. In 1915 he moved to Amherst College where he taught English until 1921.
He resigned to pursue other interests and moved to New York City, New York. In New York he was appointed as an editor of Theater Arts Magazine and as drama critic for The New Republic. Young worked at The New Republic until his retirement in 1947. During this period he was involved with the theater in New York and wrote several plays. Young's plays include: Guenevere, Addio, Madretta, At The Shrine, The Star In The Trees, Twilight Saint, The Dead Poet, The Seven Kings and the Wind, and The Queen of Sheba, to name a few.
In 1930 Young contributed to the Agrarian manifesto, I'll Take My Stand, and was one of 12 known as the Southern Agrarians.
Young drew on the traditions of his Southern upbringing for inspiration. He wrote essays, journalistic articles, and collections of stories that drew on these sources. He also published four novels dealing with Southern themes.
So Red the Rose, perhaps Young's finest novel, published in 1934, had a brief period of popularity as the archetype of the Southern Civil War novel. The phenomenal success of Gone With the Wind later in the decade pushed Young's book into the background. In 1935, the novel was made into a film of the same name directed by King Vidor. Described by its author as a novel of the affections, the book is still in print.
In the 1940s Young, a self-taught artist, began painting. He was the subject of two one-man exhibitions in New York. His paintings were shown in four important venues, including the Art Institute of Chicago, which purchased one of his paintings for its permanent collection.
In 1951 Young published his memoir, The Pavilion, dedicated to his friend Allen Tate.
Young received the Order of the Crown of Italy for a series of lectures on American theater. He gave them in Italian as a Westinghouse Lecturer in Italy.
He served on the board of New York University and was a critic for the New York Times.
Young suffered a stroke in May 1959 and died four years later. He was buried in Friendship Cemetery in Como, Mississippi.