The Rise of Sinclair Lewis, 1920-1930

The Rise of Sinclair Lewis examines the making of Lewis's best-selling novels Main Street, Babbitt, Arrowsmith, and Elmer Gantry--their sources, composition, publication, and subsequent critical reception. Drawing on thousands of pages of material from Lewis's notes, outlines, and drafts--most of it never before published--James M. Hutchisson shows how Lewis selected usable materials and shaped them, through his unique vision, into novels that reached and remained part of the American literary imagination. Hutchisson also describes for the first time how large a role was played by Lewis's wives, assistants, and publishers in determining the final shape of his books.