In his stories and in such landmark novels as Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser (1871–1945) defied literary propriety and broke new ground in American fiction by focusing on life as it is, rather than as it ought to be. Sherwood Anderson, introducing a collection of Dreiser stories, said of him: "If there is a modern movement in American prose writing, a movement toward greater courage and fidelity to life in writing, then Theodore Dreiser is the pioneer and the hero of the movement." Indeed, his bold example paved the way for a new generation of American writers.The five superb stories in this volume vividly attest to the sincerity and depth of Dreiser's gifts as a powerful and original storyteller. They are "Free," the story of a man trying, as his wife lies dying, to understand why he never found happiness in marriage; "The Second Choice" and "Married," two insightful tales of the complex relationships of men and women; "Nigger Jeff," a powerful, disturbing story of a lynching; and "The Lost Phœbe," a poignant tale of a man's search for a lost life partner.
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