Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott

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Penguin, 1920 - Fiction - 415 pages
24 Reviews
The first of his major novels of the 1920s, Sinclair Lewis's Main Street satirizes the manners of the American Middle West. Here is the story of Carol Kennicott, who, to be accepted, must adapt to the ways of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota. This groundbreaking novel attacks conformism, commercialism, moneygrubbing, and the decline in what Lewis saw as the American ideals of freedom and respect for individuality.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lkernagh - LibraryThing

I am so glad I listened to the audiobook as read by Lloyd James and didn't attempt to read a print copy. I think reading it would have been the perfect cure if I was suffering from insomnia. The story ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nittnut - LibraryThing

Carol grows up in a rather intellectual home, but without a mother. She attends college and takes a job as a librarian in St. Paul. After a time, she meets Dr. Will Kennicott. They marry and go to ... Read full review

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Minnesota: A State Guide

Limited preview - 1938
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About the author (1920)

Sinclair Lewis was born in 1885 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, and graduated from Yale University in 1908. His college career was interrupted by various part-time occupations, including a period working at the Helicon Home Colony, Upton Sinclair's socialist experiment in New Jersey. He worked for some years as a free lance editor and journalist, during which time he published several minor novels. But with the publication of Main Street (1920), which sold half a million copies, he achieved wide recognition. This was followed by the two novels considered by many to be his finest, Babbitt (1922) and Arrowsmith (1925), which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1926, but declined by Lewis. In 1930, following Elmer Gantry (1927) and Dodsworth (1929), Sinclair Lewis became the first American author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for distinction in world literature. This was the apogee of his literary career, and in the period from Ann Vickers (1933) to the posthumously published World So Wide (1951) Lewis wrote ten novels that reveal the progressive decline of his creative powers. From Main Street to Stockholm, a collection of his letters, was published in 1952, and The Man from Main Street, a collection of essays, in 1953. During his last years Sinclair Lewis wandered extensively in Europe, and after his death in Rome in 1951 his ashes were returned to his birthplace.
Martin Bucco is a professor of English at Colorado State University. He is the author of numerous books, among them The Voluntary Tongue (1957), Frank Waters (1969), Wilbur Daniel Steele (1972), E. W. Howe (1977), René Wellek (1981), Western American Literary Criticism (1984), and Main Street: The Revolt of Carol Kennicott (1993), and the editor of Critical Essays on Sinclair Lewis (1986).

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