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My appointment was for the evening. Dreiser, who is finishing a book, “An American Tragedy,” in a specially rented New York office, lives in Brooklyn, which is also the base of my visits to Gotham. Accordingly, I show up at this place, ready for the regular chat about books and people. Drawing up alongside the curb I caught sight of an ungainly figure bent over an automobile. A charming lady was giving the car a drink. I had seen that powerful masculine face before in pictures, and wondered what Dreiser (if it were really he) could be doing out there, preparing for a spin, when he had arranged to see me at that very hour. Perhaps he was trying to escape me. If so, I couldn’t well blame him. Talking books to a man after he has stuck all day in an office writing them is hardly his proper notion of relaxation, especially when there is a pretty driver at the wheel.

“Pardon me,” I ventured. “Is this Mr. Dreiser?”

It was, and a heavy hand was extended to meet my own. But what about that automobile? Had I broken up a party? On the contrary, as it soon appeared, I was to make one of it. There was to be no evening of book chat in an apartment. This was to be a flying interview, open-airy, informal, with Dreiser and I seated in the rear and the fair charioteer guiding us through the open spaces of Brooklyn’s seemingly endless thoroughfares.

— from “A Visit With Theodore Dreiser” by Isaac Goldberg, Haldeman-Julius Monthly 5 (October 1925), reproduced in Theodore Dreiser Interviews, Frederic E. Rusch and Donald Pizer, eds. (U of Illinois Press, 2004)

Caz Dolowicz remembers Alexander Berkman too.

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