Sinclair Lewis : An American Life

Year 1961
Pages 867
Binding Hardcover
Condition Very Good
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McGraw-Hill, 1961. FIRST CLUB EDITION. Very good condition, grey and black cloth bright gilt titles, excellent interior. Original dust jacket, edge chips and tears. A monumental study of one of the most famous authors in the twentieth century by one of the most distinguished literary men in America today, Sinclair Lewis: An American Life will stand for years to come in the select company of definitive American biographies. First Edition (stated) As described by Mark Schorer, the book is "a detailed account of Sinclair Lewis's life, from birth to death, a life lived in many places and full of constant peregrination. It was in many ways a disastrous life, full of sordid horror, and the book does not gloss over that. It was also, in many ways, a life full of comedy and buffoonery, and these too find their place in the text. The approach of the book is not literary or critical; it treats Lewis's books and other writings chiefly as events in his life, and events that helped to form his character. The tone is casual and personal, perhaps slightly ironical. The book attempts to locate Lewis in the American literary scene, contrasting and comparing him with his contemporaries, chiefly people whom he actually knew. Lewis is a prime example of that characteristic phenomenon of American literature - the man who enjoys a tremendous and rather early success and then suffers through a long period of decline and deterioration, both literary and moral." Sinclair Lewis became one of the most financially successful authors ever published in America. He was also, for approximately twenty years, the most popular American author - both here and abroad - except among contemporary writers, from whom he longed for recognition. He was the first American writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Yet, Mr. Schorer explains, Lewis was one of the most unhappy, haunted, tormented men who ever wrote; he was physically ugly, a failure as a husband and a father, an alcoholic, and-most tragic of all- a man who was both acutely lonely and alone from his early childhood in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, to his pitiful death surrounded by strangers in a Rome hospital. Sinclair Lewis: An American Life tells the whole absorbing story for the first time. Mr. Schorer has been given access to Lewis's private papers, his previously undecoded schoolboy diaries, and valuable correspondence both to and from Lewis. 867 pages.