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Floyd Dell

June 28, 1887 – July 23, 1969

Inducted in 2015

Novels

Moon-Calf (1920)

The Briary-Bush (1921)

Janet March (1923)

This Mad Ideal (1925)

Runaway (1925)

Love in Greenwich Village (1926)

An Old Man's Folly (1926)

An Unmarried Father (1927)

Souvenir (1929)

Love Without Money (1931)

Diana Stair (1932)

The Golden Spike (1934)

Non-fiction

Women as World Builders (1913)

Were You Ever a Child? (1919)

Looking at Life; essays (1924)

Intellectual Vagabondage; essays (1926)

The Outline of Marriage (1926)

Upton Sinclair: A Study in Social Protest (1927)

Homecoming; autobiography (1930)

Love in the Machine Age: A Psychological Study of the Transition from Patriarchal Society (1930)

Government Aid During the Depression to Professional, Technical and Other Service Workers (1947)

Final Report on the WPA Program, 1935-43 (Washington: Government Printing Office) (1947)

Homecoming; An Autobiography (1969)

Upton Sinclair : A Study in Social Protest (1970)

Essays

Essays from The Friday Literary Review, 1909-13 (1995)

Feminism for Men (1914)

Mona Lisa and the Wheelbarrow (1914)

The Censor's Triumph (1915)

Enter the Woman (1915)

Plays

Human Nature: A Very Short Morality Play (1913)

Chaste Adventures Of Joseph: A Comedy (1914)

Ibsen Revisited: A Piece Of Foolishness (1914)

Enigma: A Domestic Conversation (1915)

Rim Of The World: A Fantasy (1915)

Legend: A Romance (1915)

King Arthur's Socks: A Comedy (1916)

Long Time Ago: A Tragic Fantasy (1917)

Angel Intrudes: A Comedy (1917)

Sweet-And-Twenty: A Comedy (1918)

Poor Harold: A Comedy (1920)

Little Accident (1928)

King Arthur's Socks and Other Village Plays (2012)

Chicago became for him the symbol of that real world. It was no longer a place of refuge—it was a test, a challenge. He would go there not as a moonstruck dreamer, but as a realist, able to face the hard facts of life. (from The Briary-Bush)

Floyd Dell was born in Barry, IL and after attending high school in Iowa moved to Chicago in 1908, where he remained until moving to New York City in 1913. Having been brought up in poverty, he took an early interest in politics and social change and by the age of 16 had joined the Socialist Party. This would pave the way for a string of jobs writing and promoting for Socialist publications such as The Tri-City Worker and The Masses. While a supporter of Socialism, he did not limit himself or his career to mere political constraints. He eventually took a job with The Chicago Evening Post and by 1911 was the editor of its Friday Literary Review, a nationally distributed weekly supplement that helped enhanced the reputation of Chicago’s literary renaissance. During this period he would become an unequivocally prominent figure in the literary movement that would in later years be deemed American Modernism. He advocated the work of such modernist icons as Jack London, Upton Sinclair and George Bernard Shaw, all the while slowly honing his own literary gifts. He is perhaps best remembered for his first novel, the 1920 bestselling Moon-Calf, and later with the 1928 Broadway hit play Little Accident. Along with his novels (11 of them) and plays (12), he was also an influential critic, essayist and poet of reasonable distinction. He also wrote an autobiography, Homecoming, in 1930. He is remembered today as a heavily influential figure in early American Modernism, Socialism, and as an usher for the exodus of new literary voices in the Midwest to settle in the great cities of the east like New York. According to author R. Craig Sautter, who helped compile a 1996 collection of his essays from the Friday Literary Review, Dell was “one of the most flamboyant, versatile and influential American Men of Letters of the first third of the 20th Century.”

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