Sinclair Lewis Got It Exactly Right

He re-created with perfect pitch every tone of voice, every creak and rattle of an America that was disintegrating even as it gave birth to the country we inhabit today

My first—and last—sight of Sinclair Lewis was in Union Square. Lewis Gannett, the book columnist for the New York Herald Tribune in the 1930s, had somehow contrived to make himself a penthouse of sorts atop a factory there, and one night he gave a party at which Sinclair Lewis was the central fact. From Gannett’s windows you could see down to the grubby commerce that surrounded the square.Read more »

Main Street

With the publication of his acid-etched but enormously popular portrait of the American small town, Sinclair Lewis emerged as the spokesman for a new literary generation

On July 17, 1920, Sinclair Lewis delivered the finished manuscript of Main Street to Alfred Harcourt in the hope that it would sell 10,000 copies. Harcourt was enthusiastic. He thought that it was great; he thought that it would probably sell as many as 20,000 copies before it stopped, and his sales manager believed that they could probably expect a sale of 25,000. In the first six months of 1921 it sold 180,000. It was finally to go into millions. Read more »