Anatomy of a Murder

By Robert Traver

Original Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Current Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Fiction Finalists That Year: 

Fiction Winner That Year: Bernard Malamud for The Magic Barrel

Fiction Judges That Year: John MacKenzie Cory, Ralph Ellison, Harry Hansen, Alfred Kazin, Alice Morris

The Year in Literature:

  • The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
  • Salvatore Quasimodo won the Nobel Prize for literature. 
More Information:
  • Robert Traver is the pen name of John D. Voelker.
  • Before he became a writer, Traver was an attorney and a judge. He was also a renowned fly fisherman and a member of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.
  • Anatomy of a Murder is based on a real homicide and subsequent trial that occurred in Big Bay, Michigan in 1952. Coleman A. Peterson, a lieutenant in the Army, was charged with murdering Maurice Chenoweth. The alleged motive was revenge for the rape of Peterson's wife by Chenoweth. Voelker defended Peterson in the trial, and he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
  • Anatomy of a Murder was made into a 1959 Academy Award-nominated film directed by Otto Preminger and starring James Stewart.

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