A Hoosier Holiday

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Indiana University Press, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 513 pages
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"Though far from the author’s usual musings, this is actually a forerunner to the American road novel and very well could have been one of the inspirations for Jack Kerouac... this is a fine addition to public and academic libraries." —Library Journal

"Theodore Dreiser, road warrior... Dreiser’s account of his homecoming will touch a familiar and responsive chord in anyone who has undertaken one.... In that, as in so much else in this book, as in the great body of all his work, Dreiser in his earnest, heartfelt, clumsy way speaks to the universal experience." —Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

"Because [the book] provides a portrait of the artist as a young man and describes the nation as a mosaic of individual cultures, Dreiser’s journey offers several different lessons. Part travelogue, part autobiography, part collection of essays, A Hoosier Holiday lays out the landscape of a nation that ceased to exist once the highway unfurled across the map." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

By 1914, Theodore Dreiser was a successful writer living in New York. He had not been back to his home state in over 20 years. When his friend Franklin Booth approached him with the idea of driving from New York to Indiana, Dreiser’s response to Booth was immediate: "All my life I’ve been thinking of making a return trip to Indiana and writing a book about it." Along the route, Dreiser recorded his impressions of the people and land in words while his traveling companion sketched some of these scenes. In this reflective tale, Dreiser and Booth cross four states to arrive at Indiana and the sites and memories of Dreiser’s early life in Terre Haute, Sullivan, Evansville, Warsaw, and his one year at Indiana University.

 

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A Hoosier holiday

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The title here is a little misleading. The book follows a two-week car trip from New York to Indiana undertaken by Dreiser and artist Franklin Booth in 1914. Though far from the author's usual musings ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER PAGE I The Rose Window
13
The Scenic Route
20
Across the Meadows to the Passaic
24
The Piety and Eggs of Paterson
29
Across the Delaware
35
An American Summer Resort
42
The Pennsylvanlans
50
Beautiful WilkesBarre
58
The Frontier of Indiana
256
Across the Border of Boyland
264
A Middle Western Crowd
273
Warsaw at Last
283
Warsaw in 18846
290
The Old House
298
DayDreams
305
The Kiss of Fair Gusta
309

In and Out of Scranton
65
A Little American Town
75
The Magic of the Road and Some Tales
81
Railroads and a New Wonder of the World
92
A Country Hotel
98
The City of Swamp Root
107
A Ride by Night
116
Chemung
123
Chicken and Waffles and the Toon O Bath
131
Mr Hubbard and an Automobile Flir tation
141
The Rev J Cadden McMickens
150
The Capital of the Fra
159
Buffalo Old and New
169
Along the Erie Shore
176
The Approach to Erie
182
The Wreckage of a Storm
190
Conneaut
197
The Gay Life of the Lake Shore
204
A Summer Storm and Some Comments on the Picture Postcard
214
In Cleveland
221
The Flat Lands of Ohio
229
Ostend Purged of Sin
235
When Hope Hopped High
244
Old Haunts and Old Dreams
317
Bill Arnold and His Brood
327
In the Chautauqua Belt
335
The Mystery of Coincidence
346
The Folks at Carmel
357
An Indiana Village
370
A Sentimental Interlude
379
Indianapolis and a Glympse of Fairy land
385
The Spirit of Terre Haute
396
Terre Haute After ThirtySeven Years
401
A Lush Egyptian Land
409
Another Old Home
419
Hail Indiana
428
Fishing in the Busseron and a County Fair
434
The Ferry at Decker
440
A Minstrel Brother
448
Evansville
454
The Backwoods of Indiana
465
French Lick
475
A College Town
486
Booster Day and a Memory
496
The End of the Journey
505
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About the author (1997)

Theodore Dreiser authored realistic portrayals of life in the United States. His two best known works are Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy, but he wrote over 15 other books—of fiction, travel, autobiography, poetry, plays, science and politics.

Franklin Booth studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Student's League in New York. Best known for his intricate and precise drawings, he was a founder of the commercial art movement. His drawings appeared in magazines ranging from The Masses to Good Housekeeping.

Douglas Brinkley, Director of the Eisenhower Center for Leadership Studies and Associate Professor of History at the University of New Orleans and NPR poetry editor, is the author of such award-winning books as Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years, 1953-1971, Driven Patriot: The Life and Times of James Forrestal (with Townsend Hoopes), and Majic Bus: An American Odyssey.

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