From Illinois Authors
Pen Name: None
Born: March 5, 1870 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: October 25, 1902 in San Francisco, California (32 years of age)
Celebrated on the Illinois State Library, Gwendolyn Brooks Building
"The Pulpit, the Press, and the Novel- these indisputably are the greatest molders of public opinion and the public morals today. But the Pulpit but speaks once a week; the Press is read wtih lightning haste and the mourning news is waste-paper by noon. But the novel goes into the home to stay. It is read word for word; is talked about, discussed; its influence penetrates every chink and corner of the family." - Frank Norris, The Responsibilites of the Novelist
Photo Credit: CC-BY Freebase
Frank was born in Chicago and lived there until he was 14.
Biographical and Professional Information
Frank Norris was a naturalist who attempted in his sweeping fictional canvases to depict the impact of large, impersonal social and economic forces on individual lives. He is best known for McTeague (1899) and his uncompleted trilogy, The Epic of Wheat, which was to trace the impact of the wheat industry on society. The first volume, The Octopus (1901), deals with the conflict between wheatgrowers and the railroads in California. The Pit (1903), set in Chicago, is about wheat speculation on the Board of Trade. Norris' premature death kept him from completing the trilogy with The Wolf, about the flow of wheat to Europe to relieve famine.
- McTeague, 1899 - reprinted by Penguin Group in 2003 and Dover Publications, 2004
- A Man's Woman, 1900
- The Octopus, 1901 - reprinted by Penguin Group in 1994
- The Pit, 1903
- Vandover and the Brute, 1914
- Moran of the Lady Letty, 1918
Titles for Purchase and at Your Library
In 1990, his name was engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures.
This page can only be edited by Illinois Center for the Book staff, this author or this author's representatives. Please contact us for access.