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Sinclair Lewis Newsletter

The most recent issue of the Sinclair Lewis Society Newsletter is now available (Spring 2020). If you’d like a sample copy , e-mail Sally Parry at This issue includes articles on Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson and the Writers’ War Board, the filming of the silent movie Free Air, a survey of Ernest Hemingway biographies that mention his relationship with Sinclair Lewis, “Sinclair Lewis, Dante, and the Jews,” and an interview with Ken Cuthbertson, author of Inside: The Biography of John Gunther.

Welcome to the Sinclair Lewis Society Website!


Becoming Sinclair Lewis, a new biography

“How do we become who we are anyway?” 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. “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 world-class American author Sinclair Lewis?” To answer this question, Dave Simpkins, Lewis scholar and newspaper publisher from Sauk Centre, spent ten years researching and writing on this passion until his untimely death in 2018. That’s when his close friend, Jim Umhoefer, agreed to pick up the baton to facilitate the completion and publication of the book. Another of Dave’s friends, Sally Parry of the Sinclair Lewis Society, enlisted the help of Lewis scholars from around the country to pore over the text to ensure its authenticity. The result is an engaging, readable examination of the chapters of 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.”
Free Air Publishing, 256 pages, paperback

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

Sinclair Lewis Writers’ Conference Roundtable

The Sinclair Lewis Writers’ Conference, which was scheduled for October 2020, has been postponed until October 2021. For a preview of the 2021 Writers’ Conference, go to or for roundtable discussion with Jim Umhoefer, Don Shelby, Jim Gambone, Bob Beverage, Ashley Shelby, Freya Manfred and Thomas Pope.

Virtual Sinclair Lewis Presentation Video

The Sinclair Lewis Society’s first virtual Sinclair Lewis presentation, held Friday, May 22, 2020, featured Dr. Chen Ying, a scholar from Inner Mongolia University, China, who presented "Mr. Lewis Goes to China: Studying Sinclair Lewis's Novels in China." Lewis scholars and enthusiasts from Maine to California enjoyed her presentation and engaged in a lively conversation.

Listen to Dr. Chen's talk, see her PowerPoint, and hear the congenial discussion.


Did Sinclair Lewis say, "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross"?