From Illinois Authors
Pen Name: None
Born: August 27, 1871 in Terre Haute, Indiana
Died: December 28, 1945 in Hollywood
Celebrated on the Illinois State Library, Gwendolyn Brooks Building
"Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is not longer wholly guided by instint; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason." - Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie, 1900
Photo Credit: CC-By Freebase
Dreiser wrote about Chicago and began his career as a journalist for the Chicago Globe.
Biographical and Professional Information
Dreiser is considered to be the foremost novelist in the American naturalism movement. He wrote one of the great Chicago novels, Sister Carrie in 1900. His other Chicago fiction, The Financier (1912) and The Titan (1914), are both based on the career of Charles T. Yerkes, who built the Chicago railway system. Dresier's autobiographical writings also are interesting for their treatment of turn-of-the-century Chicago, especially A Book About Myself in 1922.
His first novel, Sister Carrie, tells the story of a woman who flees her country life for the city of Chicago and falls into a wayward life. The book sold poorly, but it later acquired a considerable reputation and was made into a 1952 film by William Wyler, which starred Laurence Olivier and Jennifer Jones.
- Sister Carrie, 1900
- Old Rogaum and His Theresa, 1901
- Jennie Gerhardt:A Novel, 1911
- The Financier, 1912
- A Traveler at Forty, 1913
- The Titan, 1914
- The Lost Phoebe, 1914
- The Genius, 1915
- A Hoosier Holiday, 1916
- Free and Other Stories, 1918
- Twelve Men, 1919
- Hey Rub-a-Dub-Dub: A Book of the Mystery and Wonder and Terror of Life, 1920
- A Book About Myself, 1922 - republished (unexpurgated) as Newspaper Days, 1931
- The Color of a Great City, 1923
- An American Tragedy, 1925
- Chains: Lesser Novels and Stories, 1927
- Dreiser Looks at Russia, 1928
- My City, 1929
- A Gallery of Women, 1929
- Tragic America, 1931
- Dawn, 1931
- America Is Worth Saving, 1941
- The Bulwark, 1946
- The Stoic, 1947
Titles for Purchase and at Your Library
Release Date: 2009-01-06
Jennie Gerhardt (The University of Pennsylvania Dreiser Edition)
Release Date: 1992-01-01
Release Date: 1991-06-01
Release Date: 2007-07-12
Twelve Men (1919)
Release Date: 2009-05-10
An American Tragedy, Vol. 1
Release Date: 2008-11-05
In 1990, his name was engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures.
In 2011 Theodore Dreiser was inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
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