Sinclair Lewis

Sinclair Lewis
In 1921, when Sinclair Lewis's book Main Street was passed over for the Pulitzer Prize in favor of The Age of Innocence, he sent Edith Wharton a congratulatory letter expressing his admiration for her work. She responded warmly, saying that this was the "first sign I have ever had--`literally'--that `les Jeunes' at home had ever read a word of me." Although distressed that Lewis's book had been rejected because it had offended certain readers, she felt that his work had brought her hope: "Some sort of standard is emerging from the welter of cant and sentimentality, and if two or three of us are gathered together, I believe we can still save Fiction in America." Lewis and his wife came out to Saint-Brice-sous-Forąt soon after this exchange of letters. His relationship with Wharton was cordial but not intimate. They saw each other intermittently for several years, and he dedicated his novel Babbitt to her.

Sinclair Lewis 1885-1951
Jo Davidson (1883-1952)/ Bronze, 1937
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C.

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