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Novels and Other Writings


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When Nathanael West (1903-1940) died in a California highway accident at the age of thirty-seven, his originality and brilliance were little known outside an intensely admiring circle of fellow writers. Not until West's four novels were reissued in the late 1950s was he acknowledged as one of the most gifted writers of his generation. His masterpieces Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, with their blending of manic farce and despairing compassion, and their vision of an America awash in its own mass-produced fantasies, read like a prophecy of much that was to come in American literature and life. Sacvan Bercovitch (1933-2014), volume editor, was the 2007 recipient of the Bode-Pearson Prize for Lifetime Achievement in American Studies, the author of The Puritan Origins of the American Self, and editor of the multi-volume Cambridge History of American Literature.


"Nathanael West's stunning four novels are American tales, rooted in our transmogrifying soil. Morality plays they are, classified as comedies. They are indeed often funny. Funny as a crutch." -Elizabeth Hardwick, The New York Review of Books

"If your collection is shamefully lacking in West, this splendid volume gives you virtually his entire career. One of the finest collections of the year." - Library Journal

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