Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
(Bantam Classics)

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The first of Sinclair Lewis’s great successes, Main Street shattered the sentimental American myth of happy small-town life with its satire of narrow-minded provincialism. Reflecting his own unhappy childhood in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Lewis’s sixth novel attacked the conformity and dullness he saw in midwestern village life. Young college graduate Carol Milford moves from the city to tiny Gopher Prairie after marrying the local doctor, and tries to bring culture to the small town. But her efforts to reform the prairie village are met by a wall of gossip, greed, conventionality, pitifully unambitious cultural endeavors, and—worst of all—the pettiness and bigotry of small-town minds.

Lewis’s portrayal of a marriage torn by disillusionment and a woman forced into compromises is at once devastating social satire and persuasive realism. His subtle characterizations and intimate details of small-town America make Main Street a complex and compelling work and established Lewis as an important figure in twentieth-century American literature.

From the Paperback edition.

About Sinclair Lewis

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Richard Lingeman is a senior editor of The Nation. He is the author of Small Town America, a biography of Theodore Dreiser, and Sinclair Lewis: Rebel from Main Street.
Published October 1, 1995 by Penguin Classic. 460 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, History, Action & Adventure, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

This was the first of his string of hit novels over the next decade, most of which poked and scolded at the puritan terrors of small town life — knee-jerk conformity, boosterism, “a range of grotesque vulgarity,” says one critic, “which but for him would have left no record.” Lewis said that he e...

Oct 23 2009 | Read Full Review of Main Street (Bantam Classics)

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