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This is the first study on Edward Newhouse, who wrote proletarian novels in the 1930s, short stories about life during the Great Depression, and went on to a thirty-year career with the New Yorker. He has been a friend of many of the literary giants of the 20th century. His writings from 1929 to 1965 (when he retired from a literary career) are instructive for both an understanding of the radical mindset and as an example of the late manifestation of American literary realism. The author interviewed Edward Newhouse in his home in 1996, and includes these insights as a basis for his analysis of the literary work.


“Billy Smith’s original and well researched consideration of the literary career of Edward Newhouse will be much appreciated by students and scholars engaged in the rethinking of the contours of US literary history. Smith’s book takes us from Newhouse’s beginnings as a proletarian novelist, to the heady days of his success as a short story writer for the New Yorker, to his final novels and his withdrawal from the literary life. This is a political and cultural trajectory critical to understanding the culture of the mid-twentieth century.” – Alan Wald, Director of the Program in American Culture, University of Michigan, author of The New York Intellectuals, Writing from the Left, and other books.

“Billy Smith delivers an insightful study of an important but neglected writer. This critical survey of the career of Edward Newhouse promises to be an invaluable resource, not just for the study of that writer but for its panoramic view of left-wing writing of the 1930s. The story of Newhouse’s career path from proletarian writer to New Yorker regular deserves a wide audience.” – Dr. Timothy Morris

Table of Contents

Table of contents: Preface; Introduction; Beginnings; Apprenticeship; A Proletarian Novel (You Can’t Sleep Here); Journalism; Second Proletarian Novel (This Is Your Day); Crisis; Stories from the Great Depression; War Fiction; Novel of Disillusionment (The Hollow of the Wave); New Directions; The Hollywood Connection; The Honorable Heriott (The Temptation of Roger Heriott, based on Newhouse’s 1950 O. Henry Prize Story winner, “Seventy Thousand Dollars”); Final Stories; Journey’s End; Works Cited; Index

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