The Color of a Great City (New York Classics) Paperback – 30 Jun 1996
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From the Back Cover
In the stories in The Color of a Great City, Theodore Dreiser returns the reader to turn-of-the-century New York with his early memories of the city.
About the Author
Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945), American novelist, was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and attended Indiana University. He began his writing career as a newspaperman, working in Chicago, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. His first novel, Sister Carrie (1900), was purchased by a publisher who thought it objectionable and made little effort to promote its sale. With the publication of The Financier in 1912, he was able to give up newspaper work and devote himself to writing. He became known as one of the principal exponents of American naturalism, and in 1944, he was awarded the Merit Medal for Fiction by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The pieces can be roughly divided into those about people, those about places, and a few more abstract pieces about the mood of a place or time. All are drawn from his years of wandering the streets with an observant and curious eye, and those about people tend to be the strongest and of most interest to the contemporary reader. As Dreiser wrote, "I was never weary of spying out how the other fellow lived and how he made his way." Anyone interested in the social history of New York will find such pieces as "Bums", "The Toilers of the Tenements", "The Track Walker", "The Pushcart Man", "The Bread-Line", "Our Red Slayer" (about a butcher in an abattoir), "The Man on the Bench", "The Men in the Dark", "The Men in the Storm", "The Sandwich Men" and others well worth reading. his writing on place tends to be very good too, especially in "The Waterfront", "The Car Yard", "A Vanished Seaside Resort", "A Wayplace of the Fallen", "The Bowery Mission", and "Christmas in the Tenements." Less interesting are his more clunky poetical musings, such as "The Flight of Pigeons", "On Being Poor", "The Realization of an Ideal", "The Beauty of Life" and "The Freshness of the Universe." The prose throughout is a little clunky and old-fashioned, but the subject matter is what's important, and as Dreiser writes "they bear, I think, the stamp of their hour."
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