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Sinclair Lewis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sinclair Lewis
Lewis in 1930
Lewis in 1930
BornHarry Sinclair Lewis
(1885-02-07)February 7, 1885
Sauk Centre, Minnesota, United States
DiedJanuary 10, 1951(1951-01-10) (aged 65)
Rome, Italy
Alma materYale University
Notable worksMain Street
It Can't Happen Here
Notable awardsNobel Prize in Literature
SpouseGrace Livingston Hegger (1914–1925) (divorced)
Dorothy Thompson (1928–1942) (divorced)
Sinclair Lewis signature.svg

Harry Sinclair Lewis (February 7, 1885 – January 10, 1951) was an American writer and playwright. In 1930, he became the first author from the United States (and the first from the Americas) to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." Lewis wrote six popular novels: Main Street (1920), Babbitt (1922), Arrowsmith (1925), Elmer Gantry (1927), Dodsworth (1929), and It Can't Happen Here (1935).

His works were critical of American capitalism and materialism during the interwar period.[1] Lewis is respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. H. L. Mencken wrote of him, "[If] there was ever a novelist among us with an authentic call to the trade ... it is this red-haired tornado from the Minnesota wilds."[2]

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  • Sinclair Lewis: The Conscience of His Generation, Sauk Center MN
  • City and Country: Sinclair Lewis's Views of America
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  • MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis P1 of 2 - FULL AudioBook | GreatestAudioBooks V2
  • "Main Street" (1920) By Sinclair Lewis Review & Analysis


The rolling plains of Sauk Centre, Minnesota became the launching pad of the most popular American writer of the Jazz Age, Sinclair Lewis. In 1920, America was rocked by the publication of "Main Street," a satirical novel ridiculing middle-class values and American smugness. He was called "the conscience of his generation," and his novels, which horrified the literary and political establishments went on to become required reading in English classes for decades. [piano plays in ragtime rhythm] (man) Sinclair Lewis was the first American to receive the Nobel Prize, some people feel because Europe disliked America, and here was a guy who was making fun of America. Whatsa matter, you wanted for murder? Worse than that. Worse than murder? It's a woman. Well... He is the most noted Minnesota writer, certainly one of the most noted American writers, the first Nobel Prize winner. And for a while, probably the most popular writer in this country in the early part of the 20th century. He's essentially a storyteller and a very good storyteller. In the early part of the 20th century, everyone knew who Sinclair Lewis was because he wrote so eloquently about what was going on in American society at the time, rising middle class, American culture, all of the foibles. He was truly, I think, a visionary. Oh alright, I always say business is business, that's the American way. (Mark Vinz) He had his finger on the pulse of the culture. He knew everything that was going on, mostly to satirize it. But also to, people liked reading about what was going on and Lewis certainly knew what was going on in this country. When I told my pals I was coming to Jesus, they laughed. (Mark Vinz) My favorite book is "Elmer Gantry," and I just love the book. Maybe it's because of the movie with Burt Lancaster. I'm gonna give you all the hell of the Bible, and if you don't like it, you better fix it up with the Lord, because the Lord put it there. To me it was the historical reference, the impact of the evangelists of the time like Amy Semple McPherson. Who is this uh, this Elmer Gantry? (Mark Vinz) And the fact that he looked at that movement and found the human side to it, the fact that these religious reformers like years later, the televangelists had feet of clay. In 1917, Mr. Gantry was expelled from a theological seminary in Kansas for seducing the deacon's daughter in the church where he had that day delivered a Christmas sermon. (Mark Vinz) "Babbitt" the same thing. When the city buys a property, they gotta buy from us. Well that doesn't sound exactly honest. I don't see why women can't understand the simplest business deal. (Mark Vinz) "Babbitt," which I take as truly a visionary work, Lewis looking at what was happening to American culture because of the automobile. Your wife wouldn't grudge me our friendship; that would be too mean. Women are funny that way. (Mark Vinz) What effect cars would have, what effect mass culture would have on this country. I think that in 1922 when "Babbitt" was published, Sinclair Lewis really saw far into the future of the effects of this new invention, and not just the car, but the radio, the phonograph, and everything else that was happening in that age to so transform it from what was essentially the Victorian Era, pushing up until the first World War. Certainly the book that all Minnesota school children read for many years was "Main Street," and it remains his most famous and well-known book. And that was an attack on the provincialism of small-town America, especially small-town Minnesota. Then you think as they do. No Darling, don't get me wrong. See, they're rather a conservative crowd. They're swell people, but just don't ever give 'em a chance to criticize you. Sauk Centre, his hometown where he grew up, which he called in his writing, Gopher Prairie, the narrow-mindedness of the people, the total boredom of living in a place like that, the way that all culture seemed reduced to the lowest possible common denominator, all those things were certainly present in that book. Well I guess it's you they resent. For what reason? Say, plenty of 'em-- in the first place you grabbed off the best bachelor in town; the second place you're a stranger, and they were just waitin' for something to crack down on; and did you lead with your chin! Sinclair Lewis was, for a while, one of the best-known writers in this country and one of the most popular. His satire especially was what gave him stature. Don't you believe in goodness and decency? Holding people together? No. No, I only believe in love. (Mark Vinz) I think a great deal of what he wrote about was tied to the '20s and '30s. This thing just about scares me to death. Every time this toaster jumps, I gets me a new gray hair. I never can understand these newfangled gadgets. [laughing] When I had to teach "Main Street" it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do as a teacher, because the students were almost in open rebellion because they just did not like the book because of all of the, getting bogged down in all this material from the '20s that they didn't understand. Lewis has really tended to fall out of the canon. He's no longer there with Fitzgerald and Hemingway and Faulkner, and my thought of that is simply because he was just too, too limited to the '20s, a great writer of the '20s, but still unable to transcend it in important ways.

Early life

Born February 7, 1885, in the village of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Lewis began reading books while young, and kept a diary. He had two older siblings, Fred (born 1875) and Claude (born 1878). His father, Edwin J. Lewis, was a physician and a stern disciplinarian who had difficulty relating to his sensitive, unathletic third son. Lewis's mother, Emma Kermott Lewis, died in 1891. The next year Edwin married Isabel Warner, who young Lewis apparently liked. Throughout his lonely boyhood, the ungainly Lewis—tall, extremely thin, stricken with acne and somewhat pop-eyed—had trouble making friends and pined after local girls. At the age of 13, he ran away from home and unsuccessfully tried to become a drummer boy in the Spanish–American War.[3] In late 1902, Lewis left home for a year at Oberlin Academy (the then-preparatory department of Oberlin College) to qualify for acceptance at Yale University. While at Oberlin, he developed a religious enthusiasm that waxed and waned for much of his remaining teenage years. He entered Yale in 1903, but did not receive his bachelor's degree until 1908, taking time off to work at Helicon Home Colony, Upton Sinclair's cooperative-living colony in Englewood, New Jersey, and to travel to Panama. Lewis's undistinguished looks, country manners and seeming self-importance made it difficult for him to win and keep friends at Oberlin and Yale. He did make a few friends among the students and professors, some of whom recognized his promise as a writer.[4] Lewis later became an atheist.[5]


Lewis in 1914
Lewis in 1914

Lewis's earliest published creative work—romantic poetry and short sketches—appeared in the Yale Courant and the Yale Literary Magazine, of which he became an editor. After graduation Lewis moved from job to job and from place to place in an effort to make ends meet, writing fiction for publication and to chase away boredom. In the summer of 1908, Lewis worked as an editorial writer at a newspaper in Waterloo, Iowa. He came to the Carmel-by-the-Sea writers' colony in September 1908, to work for the MacGowan sisters and to meet poet George Sterling in person. He stayed with roommate and friend, writer William Rose Benét at photographer Arnold Genthe's house that was close to the beach. Lewis and Benét left Carmel after six months. Lewis came to San Francisco where Sterling helped him get a job at the San Francisco Evening Bulletin. Lewis would return to Carmel in the spring of 1910 and meet Jack London. That year he sold two story plots to London.[6][7]

While working for newspapers and publishing houses he developed a facility for turning out shallow, popular stories that were purchased by a variety of magazines. He also earned money by selling plots to Jack London, including one for the latter's unfinished novel The Assassination Bureau, Ltd.

Lewis's first published book was Hike and the Aeroplane, a Tom Swift-style potboiler that appeared in 1912 under the pseudonym Tom Graham.

Sinclair Lewis's first serious novel, Our Mr. Wrenn: The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man, appeared in 1914, followed by The Trail of the Hawk: A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life (1915) and The Job (1917). That same year also saw the publication of another potboiler, The Innocents: A Story for Lovers, an expanded version of a serial story that had originally appeared in Woman's Home Companion. Free Air, another refurbished serial story, was published in 1919.

Commercial success

Upon moving to Washington, D.C., Lewis devoted himself to writing. As early as 1916, he began taking notes for a realistic novel about small-town life. Work on that novel continued through mid-1920, when he completed Main Street, which was published on October 23, 1920.[8] His biographer Mark Schorer wrote that the phenomenal success of Main Street "was the most sensational event in twentieth-century American publishing history".[9] Lewis's agent had the most optimistic projection of sales at 25,000 copies. In its first six months, Main Street sold 180,000 copies,[10] and within a few years, sales were estimated at two million.[11] Richard Lingeman wrote in 2002, "Main Street made [Lewis] rich—earning him about 3 million current dollars" (almost $5 million, as of 2022).[12]

Sinclair Lewis's former residence in Washington, D.C.
Sinclair Lewis's former residence in Washington, D.C.

Lewis followed up this first great success with Babbitt (1922), a novel that satirized the American commercial culture and boosterism. The story was set in the fictional Midwestern town of Zenith, Winnemac, a setting to which Lewis returned in future novels, including Arrowsmith, Gideon Planish and Dodsworth.

Lewis continued his success in the 1920s with Arrowsmith (1925), a novel about the challenges faced by an idealistic doctor. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, which Lewis declined,[13] still upset that Main Street had not won the prize.[14] It was adapted as a 1931 Hollywood film directed by John Ford and starring Ronald Colman which was nominated for four Academy Awards.

Next Lewis published Elmer Gantry (1927), which depicted an evangelical minister as deeply hypocritical. The novel was denounced by many religious leaders and banned in some U.S. cities. It was adapted for the screen more than a generation later as the basis of the 1960 movie starring Burt Lancaster, who earned a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the title role. The film won two more awards as well.

Lewis next published Dodsworth (1929), a novel about the most affluent and successful members of American society. He portrayed them as leading essentially pointless lives in spite of great wealth and advantages. The book was adapted for the Broadway stage in 1934 by Sidney Howard, who also wrote the screenplay for the 1936 film version directed by William Wyler, which was a great success at the time. The film is still highly regarded; in 1990, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, and in 2005 Time magazine named it one of the "100 Best Movies" of the past 80 years.[15]

During the late 1920s and 1930s, Lewis wrote many short stories for a variety of magazines and publications. "Little Bear Bongo" (1930) is a tale about a bear cub who wants to escape the circus in search of a better life in the real world, first published in Cosmopolitan magazine.[16][17] The story was acquired by Walt Disney Pictures in 1940 for a possible feature film. World War II sidetracked those plans until 1947. Disney used the story (now titled "Bongo") as part of its feature Fun and Fancy Free.

Nobel Prize

In 1930 Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first writer from the United States to receive the award, after he had been nominated by Henrik Schück, member of the Swedish Academy.[18] In the academy's presentation speech, special attention was paid to Babbitt. In his Nobel Lecture, Lewis praised Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, and other contemporaries, but also lamented that "in America most of us—not readers alone, but even writers—are still afraid of any literature which is not a glorification of everything American, a glorification of our faults as well as our virtues," and that America is "the most contradictory, the most depressing, the most stirring, of any land in the world today." He also offered a profound criticism of the American literary establishment: "Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead."[19]

Later years

Sinclair Lewis examines Lewis Browne's new novel as they begin their 1943 lecture tour.
Sinclair Lewis examines Lewis Browne's new novel as they begin their 1943 lecture tour.

After winning the Nobel Prize, Lewis wrote eleven more novels, ten of which appeared in his lifetime. The best remembered is It Can't Happen Here (1935), a novel about the election of a fascist to the American presidency.

After praising Dreiser as "pioneering", that he "more than any other man, marching alone, usually unappreciated, often hated, has cleared the trail from Victorian and Howellsian timidity and gentility in American fiction to honesty and boldness and passion of life" in his Nobel Lecture in December 1930,[19] in March 1931 Lewis publicly accused Dreiser of plagiarizing a book by Dorothy Thompson, Lewis's wife, which led to a well-publicized fight, wherein Dreiser repeatedly slapped Lewis. Thompson initially made the accusation in 1928 regarding her work "The New Russia" and Dreiser's "Dreiser Goes to Russia", though The New York Times also linked the dispute to competition between Dreiser and Lewis over the Nobel Prize.[20][21] Dreiser fired back that Sinclair's 1925 novel Arrowsmith (adapted later that year as a feature film) was unoriginal and that Dreiser himself was first approached to write it, which was disputed by the wife of Arrowsmith's subject, microbiologist Dr. Paul de Kruif.[22][21] The feud carried on for some months.[23] In 1944, Lewis campaigned to have Dreiser recognized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.[21]

After an alcoholic binge in 1937, Lewis checked in for treatment to the Austen Riggs Center, a psychiatric hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. His doctors gave him a blunt assessment that he needed to decide "whether he was going to live without alcohol or die by it, one or the other."[24] Lewis checked out after ten days, lacking any "fundamental understanding of his problem", as one of his physicians wrote to a colleague.[24]

In the autumn of 1940, Lewis visited his old acquaintance, William Ellery Leonard, in Madison, Wisconsin. Leonard arranged a meeting with the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a tour of the campus. Lewis immediately became enthralled with the university and the city and offered to remain and teach a course in creative writing in the upcoming semester. For a month he was quite enamored of his professorial role.[25] Suddenly, on November 7, after giving only five classes to his select group of 24 students, he announced that he had taught them all that he knew. He left Madison the next day.[26]

In the 1940s, Lewis and rabbi-turned-popular-author Lewis Browne frequently appeared on the lecture platform together,[27] touring the United States and debating before audiences of as many as 3,000 people, addressing such questions as "Has the Modern Woman Made Good?", "The Country Versus the City", "Is the Machine Age Wrecking Civilization?", and "Can Fascism Happen Here?". The pair were described as "the Gallagher and Shean of the lecture circuit" by Lewis biographer Richard Lingeman.[28]

In the early 1940s, Lewis lived in Duluth, Minnesota.[29] During this time, he wrote the novel Kingsblood Royal (1947), set in the fictional city of Grand Republic, Minnesota, an enlarged and updated version of Zenith.[29] It is based on the Sweet Trials in Detroit in which an African-American doctor was denied the chance to purchase a house in a "white" section of the city. Lewis' creation of the novel was preceded by his introduction to the black community via Edward Francis Murphy, a Josephite priest with whom he had attended school as a child.[30] Kingsblood was a powerful and very early contribution to the civil rights movement.

In 1943, Lewis went to Hollywood to work on a script with Dore Schary, who had just resigned as executive head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's low-budget film department to concentrate on writing and producing his own films. The resulting screenplay was Storm In the West, "a traditional American western"[31] — except for the fact that it was also an allegory of World War II, with primary villain Hygatt (Hitler) and his henchmen Gribbles (Goebbels) and Gerrett (Goering) plotting to take over the Franson Ranch, the Poling Ranch, and so on. The screenplay was deemed too political by MGM studio executives and was shelved, and the film was never made. Storm In the West was finally published in 1963, with a foreword by Schary detailing the work's origins, the authors' creative process, and the screenplay's ultimate fate.

Sinclair Lewis had been a frequent visitor to Williamstown, Massachusetts. In 1946, he rented Thorvale Farm on Oblong Road. While working on his novel Kingsblood Royal, he purchased this summer estate and upgraded the Georgian mansion along with a farmhouse and many outbuildings. By 1948, Lewis had created a gentleman's farm consisting of 720 acres (290 ha) of agricultural and forest land. His intended residence in Williamstown was short-lived because of his medical problems.[32]

Personal life

Lewis with Thompson and son in 1935
Lewis with Thompson and son in 1935

In 1914 Lewis married Grace Livingston Hegger (1887–1981), an editor at Vogue magazine. They had one son, Wells Lewis (1917–1944), named after British author H. G. Wells. Serving as a U.S. Army lieutenant during World War II, Wells Lewis was killed in action on October 29, 1944 amid Allied efforts to rescue the "Lost Battalion" in France.[33][34] Dean Acheson, the future Secretary of State, was a neighbor and family friend in Washington, and observed that Sinclair's literary "success was not good for that marriage, or for either of the parties to it, or for Lewis's work" and the family moved out of town.[35]

Lewis divorced Grace on April 16, 1925.[36] On May 14, 1928, he married Dorothy Thompson, a political newspaper columnist. Later in 1928, he and Dorothy purchased a second home in rural Vermont.[37] They had a son, Michael Lewis (1930–1975), who became a stage actor. Their marriage had virtually ended by 1937, and they divorced in 1942.[38]

Lewis died in Rome from advanced alcoholism, on January 10, 1951, aged 65. His body was cremated and his remains were buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. His final novel World So Wide (1951) was published posthumously.

William Shirer, a friend and admirer of Lewis, argued that Lewis did not die from alcoholism. He reported that Lewis had a heart attack and that his doctors advised him to stop drinking if he wanted to live. Lewis did not stop, and perhaps could not; he died when his heart stopped.[39]

In summarizing Lewis's career, Shirer stated:[39]

It has become rather commonplace for so-called literary critics to write off Sinclair Lewis as a novelist. Compared to ... Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Dos Passos, and Faulkner ... Lewis lacked style. Yet his impact on modern American life ... was greater than all of the other four writers together.


Compared to his contemporaries, Lewis's reputation suffered a precipitous decline among literary scholars throughout the 20th century.[40] Despite his enormous popularity during the 1920s, by the 21st century most of his works had been eclipsed in prominence by other writers with less commercial success during the same time period, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.[41]

Since the 2010s there has been renewed interest in Lewis's work, in particular his 1935 dystopian satire It Can't Happen Here. In the aftermath of the 2016 United States presidential election, It Can't Happen Here surged to the top of Amazon's list of best-selling books.[42] Scholars have found parallels in his novels to the COVID-19 crisis,[43] and to the rise of Donald Trump.[44]

He has been honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a postage stamp in the Great Americans series.


Lewis in 1944.
Lewis in 1944.


Babbitt, Mantrap and Cass Timberlane were published as Armed Services Editions during WWII.

Short stories

  • 1907: "That Passage in Isaiah", The Blue Mule, May 1907
  • 1907: "Art and the Woman", The Gray Goose, June 1907
  • 1911: "The Way to Rome", The Bellman, May 13, 1911
  • 1915: "Commutation: $9.17", The Saturday Evening Post, October 30, 1915
  • 1915: "The Other Side of the House", The Saturday Evening Post, November 27, 1915
  • 1916: "If I Were Boss", The Saturday Evening Post, January 1 and 8, 1916
  • 1916: "I'm a Stranger Here Myself", The Smart Set, August 1916
  • 1916: "He Loved His Country", Everybody's Magazine, October 1916
  • 1916: "Honestly If Possible", The Saturday Evening Post, October 14, 191
  • 1917: "Twenty-Four Hours in June", The Saturday Evening Post, February 17, 1917
  • 1917: "The Innocents", Woman's Home Companion, March 1917
  • 1917: "A Story with a Happy Ending", The Saturday Evening Post, March 17, 1917
  • 1917: "Hobohemia", The Saturday Evening Post, April 7, 1917
  • 1917: "The Ghost Patrol", The Red Book Magazine, June 1917
    Adapted for the silent film The Ghost Patrol (1923)
  • 1917: "Young Man Axelbrod", The Century, June 1917
  • 1917: "A Woman by Candlelight", The Saturday Evening Post, July 28, 1917
  • 1917: "The Whisperer", The Saturday Evening Post, August 11, 1917
  • 1917: "The Hidden People", Good Housekeeping, September 1917
  • 1917: "Joy-Joy", The Saturday Evening Post, October 20, 1917
  • 1918: "A Rose for Little Eva", McClure's, February 1918
  • 1918: "Slip It to 'Em", Metropolitan Magazine, March 1918
  • 1918: "An Invitation to Tea", Every Week, June 1, 1918
  • 1918: "The Shadowy Glass", The Saturday Evening Post, June 22, 1918
  • 1918: "The Willow Walk", The Saturday Evening Post, August 10, 1918
  • 1918: "Getting His Bit", Metropolitan Magazine, September 1918
  • 1918: "The Swept Hearth", The Saturday Evening Post, September 21, 1918
  • 1918: "Jazz", Metropolitan Magazine, October 1918
  • 1918: "Gladvertising", The Popular Magazine, October 7, 1918
  • 1919: "Moths in the Arc Light", The Saturday Evening Post, January 11, 1919
  • 1919: "The Shrinking Violet", The Saturday Evening Post, February 15, 1919
  • 1919: "Things", The Saturday Evening Post, February 22, 1919
  • 1919: "The Cat of the Stars", The Saturday Evening Post, April 19, 1919
  • 1919: "The Watcher Across the Road", The Saturday Evening Post, May 24, 1919
  • 1919: "Speed", The Red Book Magazine, June 1919
  • 1919: "The Shrimp-Colored Blouse", The Red Book Magazine, August 1919
  • 1919: "The Enchanted Hour", The Saturday Evening Post, August 9, 1919
  • 1919: "Danger—Run Slow", The Saturday Evening Post, October 18 and 25, 1919
  • 1919: "Bronze Bars", The Saturday Evening Post, December 13, 1919
  • 1920: "Habaes Corpus", The Saturday Evening Post, January 24, 1920
  • 1920: "Way I See It", The Saturday Evening Post, May 29, 1920
  • 1920: "The Good Sport", The Saturday Evening Post, December 11, 1920
  • 1921: "A Matter of Business", Harper's, March 1921
  • 1921: "Number Seven to Sagapoose", The American Magazine, May 1921
  • 1921: "The Post-Mortem Murder", The Century, May 1921
  • 1923: "The Hack Driver", The Nation, August 29, 1923[45]
  • 1929: "He Had a Brother", Cosmopolitan, May 1929
  • 1929: "There Was a Prince", Cosmopolitan, June 1929
  • 1929: "Elizabeth, Kitty and Jane", Cosmopolitan, July 1929
  • 1929: "Dear Editor", Cosmopolitan, August 1929
  • 1929: "What a Man!", Cosmopolitan, September 1929
  • 1929: "Keep Out of the Kitchen", Cosmopolitan, October 1929
  • 1929: "A Letter from the Queen", Cosmopolitan, December 1929
  • 1930: "Youth", Cosmopolitan, February 1930
  • 1930: "Noble Experiment", Cosmopolitan, August 1930
  • 1930: "Little Bear Bongo", Cosmopolitan, September 1930
    Adapted for the animated feature film Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
  • 1930: "Go East, Young Man", Cosmopolitan, December 1930
  • 1931: "Let's Play King", Cosmopolitan, January, February and March 1931
  • 1931: "Pajamas", Redbook, April 1931
  • 1931: "Ring Around a Rosy", The Saturday Evening Post, June 6, 1931
  • 1931: "City of Mercy", Cosmopolitan, July 1931
  • 1931: "Land", The Saturday Evening Post, September 12, 1931
  • 1931: "Dollar Chasers", The Saturday Evening Post, October 17 and 24, 1931
  • 1935: "The Hippocratic Oath", Cosmopolitan, June 1935
  • 1935: "Proper Gander", The Saturday Evening Post, July 13, 1935
  • 1935: "Onward, Sons of Ingersoll!", Scribner's, August 1935
  • 1936: "From the Queen", Argosy, February 1936
  • 1941: "The Man Who Cheated Time", Good Housekeeping, March 1941
  • 1941: "Manhattan Madness", The American Magazine, September 1941
  • 1941: "They Had Magic Then!", Liberty, September 6, 1941
  • 1943: "All Wives Are Angels", Cosmopolitan, February 1943
  • 1943: "Nobody to Write About", Cosmopolitan, July 1943
  • 1943: "Green Eyes—A Handbook of Jealousy", Cosmopolitan, September and October 1943
  • 1943: Harri
    Serialized in Good Housekeeping, August, September 1943 ISBN 978-1523653508(novella)

The Short Stories of Sinclair Lewis (1904–1949)

Samuel J. Rogal edited The Short Stories of Sinclair Lewis (1904–1949), a seven-volume set published in 2007 by Edwin Mellen Press. The first attempt to collect all of Lewis's short stories.[46]


  • 1915: "Nature, Inc.", The Saturday Evening Post, October 2, 1915
  • 1917: "For the Zelda Bunch", McClure's, October 1917
  • 1918: "Spiritualist Vaudeville", Metropolitan Magazine, February 1918
  • 1919: "Adventures in Autobumming: Gasoline Gypsies", The Saturday Evening Post, December 20, 1919
  • 1919: "Adventures in Autobumming: Want a Lift?", The Saturday Evening Post, December 27, 1919
  • 1920: "Adventures in Autobumming: The Great American Frying Pan", The Saturday Evening Post, January 3, 1920




  • 1907: "The Ultra-Modern", The Smart Set, July 1907
  • 1907: "Dim Hours of Dusk", The Smart Set, August 1907
  • 1907: "Disillusion", The Smart Set, December 1907
  • 1909: "Summer in Winter", People's Magazine, February 1909
  • 1912: "A Canticle of Great Lovers", Ainslee's Magazine, July 1912


  • 1942: Henry Ward Beecher: An American Portrait (by Paxton Hibben; publisher: The Press of the Readers Club, NY NY)


  • 1915: Tennis As I Play It (ghostwritten for Maurice McLoughlin)[47]
  • 1926: John Dos Passos' Manhattan Transfer
  • 1929: Cheap and Contented Labor: The Picture of a Southern Mill Town in 1929
  • 1935: Selected Short Stories of Sinclair Lewis
  • 1952: From Main Street to Stockholm: Letters of Sinclair Lewis, 1919–1930 (edited by Alfred Harcourt and Oliver Harrison)
  • 1953: A Sinclair Lewis Reader: Selected Essays and Other Writings, 1904–1950 (edited by Harry E. Maule and Melville Cane)
  • 1962: I'm a Stranger Here Myself and Other Stories (edited by Mark Schorer)
  • 1962: Sinclair Lewis: A Collection of Critical Essays (edited by Mark Schorer)
  • 1985: Selected Letters of Sinclair Lewis (edited by John J. Koblas and Dave Page)
  • 1997: If I Were Boss: The Early Business Stories of Sinclair Lewis (edited by Anthony Di Renzo)
  • 2000: Minnesota Diary, 1942–46 (edited by George Killough)
  • 2005: Go East, Young Man: Sinclair Lewis on Class in America (edited by Sally E. Parry)
  • 2005: The Minnesota Stories of Sinclair Lewis (edited by Sally E. Parry)

See also



  1. ^ "Sinclair Lewis". Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  2. ^ Bode, Carl (1969) Mencken. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press. p. 166.
  3. ^ Schorer, 3–22.
  4. ^ Schorer, 47–136
  5. ^ Kauffman, Bill. America First!: Its History, Culture, and Politics. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 1995. Print. "Sinclair Lewis atheist..." Pg. 118
  6. ^ Dramov, Alissandra (2012). Carmel-by-the-Sea, The Early Years (1803-1913). AuthorHouse. Blomington, Indiana. pp. 161, 169. ISBN 9781491824146. Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  7. ^ "Jack London letters to Sinclair Lewis, dated September through December 1910" (PDF). Utah State University University Libraries Digital Exhibits. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  8. ^ "The Romance of Sinclair Lewis". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
  9. ^ Schorer, 268
  10. ^ Pastore, 91
  11. ^ Schorer, 235, 263–69
  12. ^ Lingeman, 156.
  13. ^ The Sinclair Lewis Society, FAQ Accessed September 15, 2013.
  14. ^ McDowell, Edwin (May 11, 1984). "Publishing: Pulitzer Controversies". The New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  15. ^ "Dodsworth (1936)", Time, February 12, 2005. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  16. ^ Bongo Bear at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on March 6, 2015.
  17. ^ "Miscellania" Archived October 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Sinclair Lewis Manuscripts, Port Washington Public Library. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  18. ^ "Nomination Database". Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Lewis, Sinclair (December 12, 1930). "Nobel Lecture: The American Fear of Literature". Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  20. ^ "Lewis Is Slapped by Dreiser in Club; Principals in 'He Who Gets Slapped'". The New York Times. March 21, 1931. p. 11. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  21. ^ a b c Arthur, Anthony (2002). Literary feuds : a century of celebrated quarrels from Mark Twain to Tom Wolfe. New York: Thomas Dunne Books. pp. 66–72. ISBN 9780312272098. OCLC 49698991.
  22. ^ "Lewis Calls Witness to Challenge Dreiser; Gets Mrs. de Kruif's Denial That Rival Author Was Asked First to Write 'Arrowsmith'". The New York Times. March 25, 1931. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  23. ^ "Boast of Publicity Defied by Dreiser; Novelist Rebuked by Court as He Passes Lie in Connection With Slapping of Lewis". The New York Times. July 23, 1931. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Lingeman, 420–422
  25. ^ "Letter from Sinclair Lewis to Marcella Powers, October 7, 1940 :: St. Cloud State University – Sinclair Lewis Letters to Marcella Powers". Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  26. ^ Hove, Arthur (1991). The University of Wisconsin: A Pictorial History. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 493–495. ISBN 9780299130008.
  27. ^ Chamberlain, John (October 7, 1943) "Books of the Times". Review of See What I Mean? by Lewis Browne. The New York Times.
  28. ^ Lingeman, 455
  29. ^ a b "Column: While living in Duluth mansion, famous author penned book about race | Duluth Budgeteer". Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  30. ^ McAllister, Jim. "Essex County Chronicles: Late Salem priest had a remarkable life". Salem News. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  31. ^ a b Lewis, Sinclair; Schary, Dore (1963). Storm In the West. New York: Stein and Day.
  32. ^ Gagnon, Order of the Carmelites, Pius M. Before Carmel Came to the Berkshires. Courtesy of the Williamstown Historical Museum, 1095 Main Street, Williamstown, MA 01267. pp. 19–22.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  33. ^ Steidl, Franz (2008) Lost Battalions: Going for Broke in the Vosges, Autumn 1944. New York: Random House. p. 87. ISBN 0307537900
  34. ^ Scharnhorst, Gary and Hofer, Matthew eds. (2012) Sinclair Lewis Remembered. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-8173-8627-6
  35. ^ Acheson, Dean (1962). Morning and Noon. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 44.
  36. ^ Richard Lingeman, Sinclair Lewis: Rebel from Main Street
  37. ^ Lewis, Sinclair (September 23, 1929), "Thoughts on Vermont", Vermont Weathervane; talk given to the Rutland, Vt. Rotary.
  38. ^ Nancy, Cott (April 30, 2020). "A Good Journalist Understands That Fascism Can Happen Anywhere, Anytime: On the 1930s Antifascist Writing of Dorothy Thompson". Literary Hub. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  39. ^ a b William L. Shirer, 20th Century Journey: A Memoir of a Life and the Times vol. 1: The Start: 1904–1930 (NY: Bantam Books, 1980) 458–9
  40. ^ Schwarz, Benjamin (February 1, 2002). "Sheer Data". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  41. ^ "Our Damaged Nobel Laureate". Los Angeles Times. March 31, 2002. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  42. ^ Stelter, Brian (January 28, 2017). "Amazon's best-seller list takes a dystopian turn in Trump era". CNNMoney. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  43. ^ David J. Eisenman, "Rereading Arrowsmith in the COVID-19 Pandemic". JAMA 324.4 (2020): 319–320. online
  44. ^ Ellen Strenski, "It Can't Happen Here, or Has It? Sinclair Lewis's Fascist America". Terrorism and Political Violence 29.3 (2017): 425–436, compare with Donald Trump.
  45. ^ "The Hack Driver" (PDF). Footprints Without Fleet: Supplementary Reader in English for Class X. New Delhi: NCERT. 2018. pp. 46–52. ISBN 978-81-7450-709-9. OCLC 1144708212.
  46. ^ "The Short Stories of Sinclair Lewis (1904–1949)". Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  47. ^ Pastore, 323–5


Works cited
  • Lingeman, Richard R. (2002) Sinclair Lewis: Rebel From Main Street. New York: Borealis Books. ISBN 0873515412. online
  • Pastore, Stephen R. (1997) Sinclair Lewis: A Descriptive Bibliography. New Haven, YALE UP. ISBN 0965627500.
  • Schorer, Mark. (1961) Sinclair Lewis: An American Life. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961. online

Further reading

  • Augspurger, Michael. "Sinclair Lewis' Primers for the Professional Managerial Class: Babbitt, Arrowsmith, and Dodsworth." Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association 34.2 (2001): 73–97. online
  • Babcock, C. Merton, and Sinclair Lewis. "Americanisms in the Novels of Sinclair Lewis." American Speech 35.2 (1960): 110–116. online
  • Blair, Amy. "Main Street Reading Main Street." New directions in American reception study (2008): 139–58. online[dead link]
  • Bucco, Martin. Main Street: The Revolt of Carol Kennicott, 1993.
  • Dooley, D. J. The Art of Sinclair Lewis, 1967.
  • Eisenman, David J. "Rereading Arrowsmith in the COVID-19 Pandemic." JAMA 324.4 (2020): 319–320. online
  • Fleming, Robert E. Sinclair Lewis, a reference guide (1980) online
  • Hutchisson, James M. "Sinclair Lewis, Paul De Kruif, and the Composition of" Arrowsmith"." Studies in the Novel 24.1 (1992): 48–66. online
  • Hutchisson, James M. "All of Us Americans at 46: The Making of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt." Journal of Modern Literature 18.1 (1992): 95–114. online
  • Hutchisson, James M. Rise of Sinclair Lewis, 1920–1930 (Penn State Press, 2010). online
  • Light, Martin. The Quixotic Vision of Sinclair Lewis (1975) online.
  • Love, Glen A. Babbitt: An American Life
  • Love, Glen A. "New Pioneering on the Prairies: Nature, Progress and the Individual in the Novels of Sinclair Lewis." American Quarterly 25.5 (1973): 558–577. online
  • Michels, Steven J. Sinclair Lewis and American Democracy (Lexington Books, 2016).
  • Poll, Ryan. Main Street and Empire. (2012).
  • Schorer, Mark, ed. Sinclair Lewis, a collection of critical essays (1962) online
  • Strenski, Ellen. "It Can't Happen Here, or Has It? Sinclair Lewis's Fascist America." Terrorism and Political Violence 29.3 (2017): 425–436, compare with Donald Trump.
  • Tanner, Stephen L. "Sinclair Lewis and Fascism." Studies in the Novel 22.1 (1990): 57–66. online
  • Winans, Edward R. "Monarch Notes: Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt (1965) online
  • Witschi, Nicolas. "Sinclair Lewis, the Voice of Satire, and Mary Austin's Revolt from the Village." American Literary Realism, 1870–1910 30.1 (1997): 75–90. online
  • Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 31.3, Autumn 1985, special issues on Sinclair Lewis.
  • Sinclair Lewis at 100: Papers Presented at a Centennial Conference, 1985.

External links

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