THE AMERICAN WRITER AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION by Harvey-Ed. Swados

THE AMERICAN WRITER AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It seems as if everybody is in the overdue process of rediscovering our Great Depression and not the least aspect of this period is what was going on in American writing. It was not a belles letters period 19th century Boston would have recognized because from the clear evidence novelist Swados has assembled, naturalism, not grace, was the stylistic keynote and bitterness set the tone. These were nay-sayers and uncomfortable truth-seekers and this collection includes the work of writers like James T. Farrell, Nelson Algren, Thomas Wolfe, Edmund Wilson, John Steinbeck, Richard Wright, Nathanael West and a Ruth McKenney young admirers of My Sister Eileen would be hard put to recognize. Arranged in eight sections, the material is grouped around such Depression first concerns as jobs, vets, Negroes, organized labor and migrant workers. Mr. Swados, who is now on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence, provides the unifying foreword and his selection helps bring it all back-- the poverty, the pain and some of the creativity that came out of financial/philosophical chaos.

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill