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James T. Farrell was once mentioned in the same breath with Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald. Studs Lonigan, his trilogy about a swaggering young Irish "tough" from Chicago's South Side, was swiftly acclaimed as a modern classic. But as Farrell's powerful naturalism slipped out of vogue over the decades, his work fell into neglect and his star dimmed. An Honest Writer restores this important writer to his rightful place in American literary history. Robert Landers begins his landmark biography with Farrell's great subject: the working-class life of Chicago and his own family, whose eccentric members inspired some memorable characters in his best fiction. He describes Farrell's dogged search for love and sexual fulfillment, and his long quarrel with God and with a literary establishment that tried to censor his work and deny the harsh social realities it portrayed. Drawing on the voluminous private papers Farrell left behind upon his death in 1979, Landers opens a time capsule to reveal the connection between literature and politics from the 1930s onward. Initially drawn to the Communist Party, Farrell awakened long before Hemingway, Malcolm Cowley and others to the horrors of Soviet totalitarianism. He freed himself from Marxist illusions for good at the onset of the Cold War, joining Mary McCarthy and other anticommunist liberals in the Congress for Cultural Freedom's fight against Stalinism. With its insightful analysis of Farrell's work and evocative sketches of friends and enemies such as Theodore Dreiser, Edmund Wilson and Nelson Algren, An Honest Writer is both a sparkling literary history and a compelling portrait of one of the era's major figures. This authoritative biography arrives right on time for James T. Farrell's centenary in 2004.
Buy An Honest Writer: The Life and Times of James T. Farrell by Robert K. Landers from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781893554955 & 1893554953
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