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Sinclair Lewis Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Hike and the Aeroplane (1912)Description / Buy at Amazon
Our Mr. Wrenn (1914)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Trail of the Hawk (1915)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Job (1917)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Innocents (1917)Description / Buy at Amazon
Free Air (1919)Description / Buy at Amazon
Main Street (1920)Description / Buy at Amazon
Babbitt (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arrowsmith (1925)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mantrap (1925)Description / Buy at Amazon
Elmer Gantry (1927)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man Who Knew Coolidge (1928)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dodsworth (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ann Vickers (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
Work Of Art (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
It Can't Happen Here (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Prodigal Parents (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bethel Merriday (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gideon Planish (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cass Timberlane (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kingsblood Royal (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
The God-Seeker (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
World So Wide (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Let Us Play King (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Storm in the West (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Willow Walk (1918)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boy Scouts of the Eagle Patrol (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Young Man Axelbrod (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat of the Stars (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ghost Patrol (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Speed (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Things (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Moths in the ARC Light (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kidnaped Memorial (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Harri (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

Jayhawker: A Play in Three Acts (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Selected Short Stories of Sinclair Lewis (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
I'm A Stranger Here Myself and Other Stories (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
If I Were Boss (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Go East, Young Man (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Minnesota Stories of Sinclair Lewis (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Short Stories of Sinclair Lewis, 1904-1949 (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Man From Main Street (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
From Main Street to Stockholm (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Adventures in Autobumming (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Short Story Masterpieces: 35 Classic American and British Stories from the First Half of the 20th Century(1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
30 Eternal Masterpieces of Humorous Stories(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis was born February 7, 1885 in Sauk, Minnesota. He was an American short story writer, novelist, and playwright. And in 1930, he became the first American to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his graphic and vigorous art of description and ability to create, with humor and wit, new kinds of characters.

He started reading books from a young age and kept up a diary. He had two older siblings Fred and Claude. Edwin J. Lewis, his dad, was a physician and stern disciplinarian who had a tough time relating to his nonathletic and sensitive third son.

His mom, Emma Kermott Lewis, died in 1891, and his dad remarried to, Isabel Warner, whose company a young Lewis enjoyed apparently. Throughout his boyhood, the ungainly Lewis (extremely thin, tall, stricken with acne, and a bit pop-eyed) had trouble making any friends and pined after different local girls.

He unsuccessfully ran away at home when he was 13, wanting to become a drummer boy in the Spanish American War.

Late in 1902, he left home for one year at Oberlin Academy to qualify for acceptance at Yale University. While he was at Oberlin, Sinclair developed a religious enthusiasm which waned and waxed for much of his remaining teen years. In 1903, he entered Yale, however didn’t receive his bachelor’s degree until 1908, having taken time off to work at Helicon Home Colony, Upton Sinclair’s cooperative living colony in Englewood, New Jersey, and so that he could travel to Panama.

His fresh country manners, unprepossessing looks, and apparently self-important loquacity made it tough for him to win and keep many friends at Oberlin and Yale. He did, however, initiate just a few relatively long lived friendships among professors and students, some of whom recognized that he had promise as a writer.

Some of Sinclair’s earliest published creative works (short sketches and romantic poetry) appeared in the Yale Literary Magazine and the Yale Courant, the former of which he became an editor. After he graduated, he moved from one job to the next and one place after another in order to try and make ends meet, penning his fiction for publication and to keep boredom away.

As he worked for publishing houses and newspapers (and for a brief time at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California writers’ colony), he developed this facility for producing popular yet shallow stories which were bought by various magazines. Sinclair also earned money by selling plots to Jack London, including one for Jack’s unpublished novel “The Assassination Bureau, Ltd.”

When he moved to Washington, D. C., he devoted himself to writing. By 1916, he started taking notes for a realistic novel about small town life. Working on this novel continued through mid-1920, when he finished “Mean Street”, which was published in October of 1920. His agent had the most optimistic projection that it’d sell 25,000 copies, but in the first six months, it sold 180,000 copies, and within just a few years, sales of the book were estimated to be 2 million.

In 1931, “Arrowsmith” was adapted into a Hollywood film that was directed by John Ford and starred Ronald Colman and was nominated for four Oscars. “Dodsworth” was adapted for the Broadway stage in 1934 by Sidney Howard, who also penned the screenplay for the 1936 movie version that was directed by William Wyler, a movie that is still highly regarded. His story “Little Bear Bongo” was adapted as part of a Disney movie called “Fun and Fancy Free”, now called “Bongo”.

“Arrowsmith” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, which Sinclair declined, still being upset with the fact that “Main Street” hadn’t won the prize.

After he had an alcoholic binge in 1937, he checked in for treatment at the Austen Riggs Center, which is a psychiatric hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. His doctors gave a blunt assessment that he had to pick whether he’d live without alcohol or die by it, one or the other. He checked out ten days after checking in, lacking any basic comprehension of his problem.

He married Grace Hegger, an editor at Vogue magazine, in 1914. They had one son together, Wells Lewis (named for author HG Wells), who died serving in the US Army during World War II. Sinclair divorced Grace in 1925.

He remarried on May 14, 1928 to Dorothy Thompson, a political newspaper columnist. In 1930, they had a son, named Michael Lewis, who became a stage actor. By 1937, their marriage was pretty much over, and they divorced in 1942.

He died from advanced alcoholism on January 10, 1951 at the age of 65 in Rome, Italy.

“Arrowsmith” is a stand alone novel and was released in 1925. This novel is often described as the first scientific novel. It explores scientific and medical themes in a fictional way, and it’s tough to think of a prior book that does this. Sinclair Lewis’s dad was a doctor, and he greatly helped in preparing the manuscript by the science author Paul de Kruif, who brings a reality to the novel which is almost biographical.

This reality means that the book heralds the real impact of advances in public health, immunology, and drugs which were soon going to change the world. Additionally, it satirizes those scientific and medical practitioners whose pursuit of fortune and fame, at the expense of truth, remains just as pertinent as it does today.

“It Can’t Happen Here” is a stand alone novel and was released in 1935. This novel, the only of Sinclair Lewis’ later books to match the power of his earlier work, is a cautionary story about the fragility of democracy, an eerily and alarmingly timeless examination of how fascism could take hold in America.

It was written during the Great Depression, during a time when America was by and large oblivious to Hitler’s aggression. It juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a President that becomes a dictator in order to save the nation.

This is still a uniquely important, and shockingly prescient book that is just as contemporary and fresh read as today’s news.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sinclair Lewis

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