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Theodore Dreiser

August 27, 1871 – December 28, 1945

Inducted in 2011

Fiction

Sister Carrie (1900)

Jennie Gerhardt (1911)

The Financier (1912)

The Titan (1914)

The “Genius” (1915)

Free and Other Stories (1918)

An American Tragedy (1925)

Chains: Lesser Novels and Stories (1927)

The Bulwark (1946)

The Stoic (1947)

Drama

Plays of the Natural and Supernatural (1916)

The Hand of the Potter (1918)

Nonfiction

A Traveler at Forty (1913)

A Hoosier Holiday (1916)

Twelve Men (1919)

Hey Rub-a-Dub-Dub: A Book of the Mystery and Wonder and Terror of Life (1920)

A Book About Myself (1922); republished (unexpurgated) as Newspaper Days (1931)

The Color of a Great City (1923)

MOODS Cadenced and Declaimed (1926)

Dreiser Looks at Russia (1928)

My City (1929)

A Gallery of Women (1929)

Tragic America (1931)

Dawn (1931)

America Is Worth Saving (1941)

Theodore Dreiser: Political Writings, edited by Jude Davies (2011) 

Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.

Dreiser, who began writing for the Chicago Globe after flunking out of Indiana University, is known as a trailblazer for his generation. In his fiction and non-fiction, he tackled subjects that were considered in violation of conventional morality, including Sister Carrie (about a woman who flees the country for Chicago and eventually dabbles in illicit activities such as the theatre and rich men) and his Trilogy of Desire (based on Chicago streetcar tycoon Charles Tyson Yerkes). Dreiser’s themes of social inequality and his battles with censorship earned him a reputation as a champion for literary freedom, while his style won him credit as a founder of the naturalism literary movement.

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