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Sinclair Lewis Newsletter

The most recent issue of the Sinclair Lewis Society Newsletter is available (Fall 2021). If you'd like a sample copy, e-mail Sally Parry at separry@ilstu.edu. The issue includes "A Tribute to John-Paul Sinclair Lewis," "The Life and Loves of Sinclair Lewis Celebrates the Life of Sinclair Lewis 100 Years after the Publication of Main Street," Bernhard Wenzl's "Red's Visit to Riotous Vienna: Sinclair Lewis Reports on the July Revolt of 1927," and Frederick Betz's review of A Constant State of Emergency: Paul de Kruif: Microbe Hunter and Health Activist, by Jan Peter Verhave.

 

The Sinclair Lewis Society was created to encourage the study of, critical attention to, and general interest in the work, career, and legacy of Sinclair Lewis, the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. We seek to facilitate a broader discussion of his writing as a social critic and satirist among scholars, critics, teachers, students, and readers everywhere.

In a series of novels over three decades—Main Street, Babbitt, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth, It Can't Happen Here, Kingsblood Royal among them—Lewis created and courted controversy and, more important, defined a nation for itself. And his definitions have lived on, long after his own death, in his representations of American life and American characters. As Mark Schorer concludes his mammoth biography of Lewis, "without his writing one cannot imagine modern American literature. That is because, without his writing, we can hardly imagine ourselves."

 

News and Events

SLS 2022 Virtual Conference

The Sinclair Lewis Society is delighted to announce that we will be sponsoring a virtual conference this summer on July 14-15 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Main Street in 2020 and Babbitt in 2022. The keynote speaker will be James Gambone, co-director and producer of The Life and Loves of Sinclair Lewis. He will be speaking on Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. CDT from the newly refurbished Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home, courtesy of the Sinclair Lewis Foundation.

For information about submitting an abstract for the conference and/or to register, please visit the conference home page.

New Sinclair Lewis Film Available for Streaming

The Life and Loves of Sinclair Lewis, a terrific new 80-minute dramatic historical presentation on Sinclair Lewis, is now available for streaming at https://www.sinclairlewisfoundation.org/life-and-loves. The film celebrates Lewis's life and the 100th anniversary of the publishing of his first bestseller Main Street. Also available at this site is a free, two-part streaming educational series with a downloadable discussion guide to introduce a new generation to Lewis and his writing. The film just won the “Best Trailer” award for the Elmer Gantry clip at the International Stockholm Film and Television Festival. Go to https://bit.ly/365xKIf and scroll to 11 minutes, 14 seconds to see the award-winning segment.

Becoming Sinclair Lewis, a new biography

"How did a skinny, voluble, dreamy, acne-complexioned, paprika-haired, Yale-educated country doctor's son named Harry Lewis from Sauk Centre, Minnesota, become the famous American author Sinclair Lewis?" asks Sinclair Lewis biographer Richard Lingeman in his Foreword to this fresh look at the early life and young adulthood of the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature To answer this question, Dave Simpkins, the newspaper publisher from Sauk Centre, spent ten years researching young Harry's life, from his prairie village youth to the dawn of his world-wide literary ascendance with the publication of his breakthrough novel Main Street. The result is an engaging and highly readable. Free Air Publishing, 256 pages, paperback.

Buy Becoming Sinclair Lewis by David Allen Simpkins, with Sally E. Parry and Jim Umhoefer on Amazon.