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I don’t think Faulkner is worth the antebellum South, and I would rather not have had Kafka at the proce of twentieth-century European carnage. But in trying to locate contemporary American writing I look at the thirties, that supposedly meager decade if misfired artistic energy and of duped intellectuals and bad proletarian novels, and I see not just novels, and I see not just Faulkner and Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe but James T. Farrell, Anne Porter, Richard Wright*, Nelson Algren, William Saroyan, John Steinbeck, John Dos Passos, Nathanael West, Dorothy Parker, Edward Dahlberg, Dalton Trumbo, Zora Neale Hurston, Horace McCoy, Erskine Caldwell, Lillian Hellman, James Agee, Edmund Wilson, Daniel Fuchs, Henry Roth, Henry Miller. For Starters. A literature of immense variety and contention, an argument from every side, full of passion, excessive, self-consuming.
— E.L. Doctorow, from Jack London, Hemingway and the Constiution: Selected Essyays 1977-1992


Kenny Wisdom’s forthcoming novel, Strange Fate of Proud Beauty, rumbles through a case involving two blondes, blackmail and a double dose of MURDER! He grew up on Dean Street.

* In Richard Wright’s papers there is an unpublished essay… “Alas, My Old Favorite Brooklyn Barbershop”? Praise be Hazel Rowley!

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