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Harry Sinclair Lewis

Biography

He was born the son of a country doctor in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, USA, in 1885. He graduated from Yale in 1907 and then moved from East Coast to West Coast working in a variety of editorial positions. He refused the a Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith but accepted the Nobel Prize awarded to him in 1930. He spent the last part of his life in Europe where he continued to write novels, poems and plays. He became ill in 1951 and had to settle in Rome where he died that same year.

Bibliography

Our Mr. Wren (1914)

Main Street (1920)

Babbitt (1922)

Arrowsmith (1925)

Elmer Gantry (1927)

Dodsworth (1929)

It Can't Happen Here (1935)
[Extract from Perry Meisel's introduction in the 1993 Signet Classic edition: "Although the book's appearance in 1935 was a topical response to the advent of fascism in Europe (Mussolini had come to power in Italy in 1922, Hitler in Germany in 1933), its depiction of a fascist future for the United States has a force that grows stronger with each passing year. Rather than criticize American for its provincialism as he did in the novels [] Main Street, [] Babbitt, [] Lewis now celebrated American by writing a cautionary tale rather than a satiric one. [] Unlike Orwell and Huxley, Lewis portrays not an achieved state of totalitarianism whose protocols the novel's characters take for granted, but a slow, altogether believable process whereby the America we all of us know crosses a line that we didn't realize was there. [] Lewis focuses on the American electoral process in an outlandish and uncannily prophetic way []. If It Can't Happen Here is still real to readers more than half a century after it was written, it is because Sinclair Lewis has identified the precise tensions that structure both democracy and the art of fiction".]

World So Wide (1951)

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