PAL: Perspectives in American Literature - A Research and Reference Guide

Chapter 6: Late Nineteenth Century - Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945)

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Penn Special Collections - Dreiser


Primary Works

Sister Carrie, 1900; Jennie Gerhardt, 1911; The Financier, 1912; A Traveler at Forty, 1913; The Titan, 1914; The Genius. 1915; A Hoosier Holiday, 1916; Free and Other Stories, 1918; Twelve Men, 1919; A Book About Myself, 1922; The Color of a Great City, 1923; An American Tragedy, 1925; Moods, 1926; "Typhoon," (short story), 1926Chains, 1927; Dreiser Looks at Russia, 1928; A Gallery of Women, 1929; Dawn, 1931; The Bulwark, 1946; The Stoic, 1947.

Dreiser, Theodore. A Book about Myself. London: Constable, 1929. PS3507.R55 Z5

Theodore Dresier: Sister Carrie, Jennie Gerhardt, Twelve Men. Ed. Richard Lehan. NY: The Library of America, 1987


Considered by many as the leader of Naturalism in American writing, Dreiser is also remembered for his stinging criticism of the genteel tradition and of what Howells described as the "smiling aspects of life" typifying America. In his fiction, Dreiser deals with social problems and with characters who struggle to survive. His sympathetic treatment of a "morally loose" woman in Sister Carrie was called immoral and he suffered at the hands of publishers. One of Dreiser's favorite fictional devices was the use of contrast between the rich and the poor, the urbane and the unsophisticated, and the power brokers and the helpless. While he wrote about "raw" experiences of life in his earlier works, in his later writing he considered the impact of economic society on the lives of people in the remarkable trilogy - The Financier, The Titan, and The Stoic. His best known work is An American Tragedy which shows a young man trying to succeed in a materialistic society.

| Top | Selected Bibliography

Gerber, Philip L. Plots and Characters in the Fiction of Theodore Dreiser. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1977. PS3507 R55 Z6358

---. Theodore Dreiser. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1964. PS3507.R55 Z636

Hakutani, Yoshinobu. Young Dreiser: A Critical Study. Rutherford [N.J.]: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1980. PS3507.R55 Z638

Hussman, Lawrence E. Dreiser and his Fiction: A Twentieth-Century Quest. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1983. PS3507.R55 Z639

Hutchisson, James M. "The Composition and Publication of `Another American Tragedy': Dreiser's `Typhoon.'" Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 81.1 (1987): 25-35.

Kazin, Alfred and Charles Shapiro, eds. The Stature of Theodore Dreiser: A Critical Survey of the Man and his Work. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1955. PS3507.R55 Z64

Lydenberg, John. Dreiser; a Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall 1971. PS3507.R55 Z67

Perkins, Priscilla. "Self-Generation in a Post-Eugenic Utopia: Dreiser's Conception of the 'Matronized' Genius." American Literary Realism 32.1 (Fall 1999): 12-35.

Pizer, Donald. Critical Essays on Theodore Dreiser. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1981. PS3507.R55 Z576

- - -. The Novels of Theodore Dreiser: A Critical Study. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1976. PS3507 R55 Z79

- - -. "The Problem of American Literary Naturalism and Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie." American Literary Realism 32.1 (Fall 1999): 1-12.

Pizer, Donald, Frederic E. Rusch, and Richard W. Dowell. eds. Theodore Dreiser: A Primary Bibliography and Reference Guide. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1991. PS3507 .R55 Z459

Riggio, Thomas P. "Following Dreiser: Seventy Years Later." American Scholar 65.4 (Fall 1996): 579-587.

Warren, Robert Penn. Homage to Theodore Dreiser, August 27, 1871-December 28, 1945, on the Centennial of His Birth. New York: Random House, 1971. PS3507.R55 Z86

MLA Style Citation of this Web Page

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 6: Late Nineteenth Century - Theodore Dreiser." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. URL: (provide page date or date of your login).

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