Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Latest Reading...

The weather in Los Angeles has been really beautiful this past week (warm temperatures finally!) and to celebrate I spent hours on the patio devouring “Selected Short Stories of Sinclair Lewis.”

I am ashamed to admit I’d never read anything by Sinclair Lewis before.

All through high school and college I not once remember his name being uttered by one of my English teachers. There was a lot of Jack London, William Shakespeare, and Jackie Collins, but no Sinclair Lewis.

Lewis’ most prolific time for writing was between 1918 and 1930. His stories are about people’s desires and dreams, including relevant issues such as race, women, and the powerlessness of society. Here we are some 80 years later and his work still resonates.

In 1930 he became the first American to be honored with the Novel Peace Prize in Literature “for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters.”

Of the thirteen short stories I read my favorites were “The Willow Walk,” “Things”, “Let’s Play King,” “The Kidnaped Memorial,” and “Young Man Axelrod.”

Lewis’ novels include “Elmer Gantry,” “Main Street,” “Babbit,” and “Arrowsmith.” For “Arrowsmith” he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

When you get a moment jump on your bike and pedal as fast as you can to your nearest library and check out some Sinclair Lewis. I did, and I’m glad I did.

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