VCU Libraries Gallery

Tom Robbins: an Imaginative Life

"I've been possessed by curiosity, language, and imagination for as long as I can remember."

-- Tom Robbins, Conversations with Tom Robbins 


In his 2014 book Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, Tom Robbins claims five hometowns, which he identifies as places where he “spent significant and affecting years.” These hometowns (listed by Robbins in reverse chronological order) are La Conner, Washington (where he currently lives with his wife, Alexa D’Avalon); Seattle (where he studied at the University of Washington and worked as an art critic for the Seattle Times); Richmond, Virginia (home of the Richmond Professional Institute, where Robbins graduated with honors in 1959); Warsaw, Virginia (where his family moved when Robbins was 10 and where he graduated from high school six years later); and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, a small town located on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains where Tom Robbins was born in 1932.

Robbins' life story is filled with attempts to touch the mystery at the heart of the universe: through art, through writing, through mysticism, through love and friendship. His is a rich life, an exuberant life, and above all, an imaginative life.

Drawing inspiration from the title of Tibetan Peach Pie, Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library presents Tom Robbins: an Imaginative Life. This online exhibition includes images from the Tom Robbins papers, university archives, and other materials from the department's holdings. Together they document and demonstrate the ways in which imagination suffuses his life and works, from relationships with fans, to manuscript revisions, to epigraphs. 

For information about this exhibition or the department's holdings related to Tom Robbins, please e-mail the Special Collections and Archives staff at Cabell Library.  



The image above and the header for this exhibit are taken from the cover art for Tom Robbins' Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life.