Next up in the Kindle queue

The next novel I will be reading on my Kindle is Alice Adams, by Booth Tarkington.

No one reads Tarkington anymore, which is a shame. There was a period during my graduate school years, and sporadically since, when I devoured his works. I was stumbling toward trying to define a “Midwestern literature” though I think the task was beyond me. (Others have tried as well.) In any case, Tarkington would be a foundation stone of that genre.

Alice Adams is a story about social striving, economic class, and ultimately self recognition and resilience. (It’s been made into a movie twice, once with Katherine Hepburn, though that movie’s ending completely voided the point of the novel and the strength of the protagonist.) Alice Adams is the novel that won Tarkington his second Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve often thought that he should have written a sequel. Since he is no longer around to do that, I’ve considered writing it myself, and maybe I will someday. At the very least, I suspect there is a bit of lit crit waiting to be written about the novel. Maybe I’ll write that someday.

One of my protagonists in my Finnegans novels is a retired English professor. He is an advocate of Midwestern regional literature. Should I never write that bit of lit crit, perhaps I will give the task to him.

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2 Comments on “Next up in the Kindle queue”

  1. Pete Says:

    Theodore Dreiser and Sinclair Lewis would be two others – I’m reading Lewis’ Elmer Gantry right now. Pretty good, though not as stellar as Babbitt or Main Street.

  2. Paul Lamb Says:

    Sadly, I never finished An American Tragedy, though I have read a lot of Lewis. Maybe it’s time to get that Dreiser work behind me.


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