Theodore Dreiser

American, 1871 - 1945

Theodore Dreiser was one of the most influential American authors of his generation, a harbinger of the  modernist era that would follow him. Born in Indiana to a German-American farming family of ten, he attended Indiana University for two years before dropping out to work as a journalist. His novels and nonfiction narratives, which he began publishing in his thirties, were controversial for their gritty realism, sexual frankness, and sympathy for the plight of underrepresented people such as working women and African-Americans. He has been called “one of the American giants” by renowned literary critic Irving Howe.