Henry Blake Fuller The Cliff-Dwellers

ISBN 13: 9781551116457

The Cliff-Dwellers

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9781551116457: The Cliff-Dwellers

The Cliff-Dwellers was the first American realist novel to use the rapidly developing city of Chicago as its setting. Henry Blake Fuller’s depiction of social climbing and human depravity among the “cliff-dwelling” residents and workers in the new Chicago skyscrapers shocked readers of the time, and influenced many American writers that followed. With its frenetic pace and many interrelated stories, it remains a compelling document of Chicago’s social history, as well as a searing indictment of modern American life at the close of the nineteenth century.

The extensive appendices to this edition include Fuller’s literary criticism and his correspondence about the novel, reviews, and visual and historical materials on turn-of-the-century Chicago and literary realism.

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About the Author:

Joseph A. Dimuro is Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Review:

“Broadview has done it again. Joseph Dimuro’s expertly assembled edition of Henry Blake Fuller’s The Cliff-Dwellers places this important novel―one of the first representations of the modern American city―in a set of productive and provocative historical, literary, visual, and socio-cultural contexts. Dimuro’s introduction and carefully selected appendices connect Fuller and his text with contemporary currents in literary realism, turn-of-the-century Chicago, urban history, and skyscraper architecture, while the novel itself offers a tumultuous look into the lives and longings of the residents of the new American metropolis.” ― William Gleason, Princeton University



The Cliff-Dwellers is a master work of Chicago and American urban realism. Henry Blake Fuller had no equal in understanding the complex human dynamics of the transformations that accompanied the creation of modern city life, including the vague but vivid hopes these changes inspired and the confusion and disappointments they inflicted. The novel is a brilliant realization of the social life and mentality of this place and time. This edition, with the deeply insightful commentary Joseph Dimuro offers and the wonderful array of contextual materials he assembles, at last gives this classic the attention and framework it deserves.” ― Carl Smith, Northwestern University

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