American Literature/20th Century/Theodore Dreiser

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Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser (August 27, 1871 – December 28, 1945) was an American naturalist author known for dealing with the gritty reality of life. He was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, to Sarah and John Paul Dreiser, a strict Catholic. John, his father, was a German immigrant and Sarah was from the Mennonite farming community near Dayton, Ohio; she was disowned for marrying John and converting to Catholicism. Theodore was the twelfth of thirteen children (the ninth of the ten surviving). The popular songwriter Paul Dresser (1859–1906) was his older brother. From 1889–1890, Theodore attended Indiana University before flunking out. Within several years, he was writing for the Chicago Globe newspaper and then the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. After proposing in 1893, he married Sara White on December 28, 1898. They ultimately separated in 1909, but were never formally divorced.


  • The Financier
  • Sister Carrie: a Novel
  • The Titan
  • Twelve Men

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