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Frank Norris

Born: March 5, 1870 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: October 25, 1902 in San Francisco, California (32 years of age)

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Norris was born in Chicago and lived there until he was 14.

Biography: 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.

  • -- Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Frank Norris on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

A man's woman
ISBN: 1406916609 OCLC: 5519047

Hard Press 1900

ISBN: 1388291428 OCLC: 1044856979

BLURB, [Place of publication not identified], 2018.

ISBN: 1595477721 OCLC: 886112525

Pharos Editions, New York : 2013.

First published in 1899, this graphic depiction of urban American life centers around McTeague, a?dentist" practicing in San Francisco at the turn of the century. While at first content with his life and friendship with an ambitious man named Marcus, McTeague eventually courts and marries Trina, a parsimonious young woman who wins a large sum of money in a lottery. It is not long before the jealousy and avarice of the majority of the characters in the novel sets off a chain of inevitable and increasingly horrific events. Norris' work, so strikingly different from that of his contempora.

ISBN: 0486831760 OCLC: 1059265117

DOVER PUBNS, [Place of publication not identified], 2019.

ISBN: 0368283666 OCLC: 1088525188

BLURB, [S.l.] : 2019.

Novels and essays
ISBN: 0940450402 OCLC: 12668527

Literary Classics of the United States : New York, N.Y. : ©1986.

In his brief career -- he died at 32 -- Frank Norris introduced fresh and sometimes shocking elements into American fiction. Inspired by the naturalistic new novel developed in France by Zola and Flaubert, he adapted it to American settings, adding his own taste for exciting action and a fascination with the emerging sciences of economics and psychology. Vandover and the brute, set in a vividly described San Francisco, captures with harsh realism the dissipation and decline of a fashionable playboy into virtual bestiality. McTeague (source for Erich von Stroheim's classic film Greed) was a radical departure for its time in its frank treatment of sex, domestic violence and pathological obsession, revealing the dark underside of San Francisco's new middle class. The octopus depicts the epic struggle of strong, ruthless California ranchers with the railroad monopoly and its political machine. Twenty-two essays address theories of literature, the state of American fiction, and the social responsibilities of the artist. The New York Times said, An opportunity to read, or re-read, in an authentic new edition, the work of one of the trailblazers in American literature.

ISBN: 3734045231 OCLC: 1057778012

OUTLOOK Verlag, [Place of publication not identified], 2018.

ISBN: 1389008088 OCLC: 1022080276

BLURB, [Place of publication not identified], 2018.

The Pit
ISBN: 1595477705 OCLC: 275996

R. Bentley 1903