By George Woodcock (auth.)
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France and Anderson: Paris Notebook 1921. edited by Michael Fanning. 1976. Bibliography: Anderson: A Bibliography by Eugene P. Sheehy and Kenneth A. Lohf, 1960; Merrill Checklist of Anderson by Ray Lewis White, 1969. Reading List: Anderson: His Life and Work by James E. Schevill, 1951; Anderson by Irving Howe, 1951 ; Anderson by Brom Weber, 1964; Anderson by Rex Burbank, 1964; The Achievement of Anderson: Essays in Criticism edited by Ray Lewis White, 1966; Anderson: ANDERSON 43 An Introduction and Interpretation by David D.
He published seven novels, but critics are not agreed that any one of the novels is wholly successful. The first, Windy McPherson's Son, which at the outset effectively recreates something of Anderson's own youth, particularly his relation to his father, becomes a rambling, incoherent narrative about a man's quest for a family and meaningful work. Marching Men is an ideological novel with a cranky and finally incoherent vision of men marching for the betterment of humankind. Poor White, which dramatizes the industrialization of America, is usually considered the best of the novels, but the charges of diffuseness and unnecessary repetition are not without some justification.
His second, Never Come Morning, is a story of rape and murder with a doomed Chicago Polish boxer as its hero. His best known work, however, is his third novel The Man with the Golden Arm, which won him the first National Book Award. In this book, written two decades before drug addiction became a national dilemma, Algren fictionalized the world of the drug addict with as yet unsurpassed authority and impact. His last novel, A Walk on the Wild Side, the result of an attempt to rework Somebody in Boots, is Algren 's favorite work as well as that of most of his later critics.
20th-Century Fiction by George Woodcock (auth.)