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Sinclair Lewis was an American satirical novelist whose realistic depictions proved to be a social critique of middle-class American life. These novels presented a sharp contrast to the traditional romantic writing style popular in his day. He received his first major commercial success in 1920 with MAIN STREET, a novel presenting the theme of monotony and spiritual numbness in American middle-class life. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for MAIN STREET and BABBITT. When he did win the Pulitzer in 1926 for his novel ARROWSMITH, he refused it, protesting the meaning of such prizes to his profession. He did, however, accept the Nobel Prize for literature in 1930. He was the first American to win for literature.


1885 He was born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. (February 7)

1902 He entered Oberlin Academy.

1907 He graduated from Yale University.

1914 He married Grace Hegger.; OUR MR. WRENN was published.

1915 THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK was published.

1917 His son, Wells, was born.; THE JOB and THE INNOCENTS were published.

1919 FREE AIR was published.

1920 MAIN STREET was published.

1922 BABBIT was published.

1925 ARROWSMITH was published.

1926 The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to him, but he refused it.; MANTRAP was published.

1927 ELMER GANTRY was published.

1928 He divorced Grace Hegger and later married Dorothy Thompson.; THE MAN WHO KNEW COOLIDGE was published.

1929 DODSWORTH was published.

1930 He won the Nobel Prize for literature.; His son, Michael, was born.

1933 ANN VICKERS was published.

1934 WORK OF ART was published.

1935 IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE was published.

1938 THE PRODIGAL PARENTS was published.

1940 BETHEL MERRIDAY was published.

1942 He divorced Dorothy Thompson.

1943 GIDEON PLANISH was published.

1945 CASS TIMBERLANE was published.

1947 KINGSBLOOD ROYAL was published.

1949 THE GOD SEEKER was published.

1951 He died near Rome, Italy.

1952 FROM MAIN STREET TO STOCKHOLM, a collection of his letters, was published posthumously.