A first biography of a well loved American writer, this is a whole hearted study of a big hearted man who was a playwright, novelist and friend to many. The picture of the boy, at home, in school, abroad, contrasts the attitude of his midwestern town with his own, apparently drifting, apprenticeship in writing; the tracing of the origins -- and originals -- of his material, and their projections leads into the story of his first and second marriages with the time out in between as drink and collapse closed him out of his known world. But with his life under control and his second wife a ready help, the work progressed and even though blindness and semi-invalidism threatened, there was no set-back; his art collection grew and grew; Indianapolis and Kennebunkport, Maine, divided his time; there were Pulitzer Prizes; there were two world wars and never ending change; his genius for friendship never left him. His plays, stories and novels are reviewed in the light of their realism of the commonplace, of their authentic American roots, and of their shrewdness and psychology. An ingratiating book which should certainly have its appeal for that generation which followed the career of ""The Gentleman from Indiana"".