Frank Norris

Benjamin Franklin Norris (March 5, 1870 - October 25, 1902) was an American novelist during the Progressive Era, classifiable as a muckraker.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he studied painting in Paris for two years, attending the University of California, Berkeley between 1890 and 94 and then spending another year at Harvard University. He was a news correspondent in South Africa in 1895, an editorial assistant on the San Francisco Wave (1896 - 97), and a war correspondent in Cuba for McClure's Magazine in 1898. He joined the New York City publishing firm of Doubleday & Page in 1899.

He died after an operation for appendicitis.

Norris was the United States' first important naturalist writer.

Bibliography

  • McTeague (1899) - a naturalist work set in San Francisco, California. A dentist murders his wife and then dies while escaping through Death Valley. McTeague was filmed as 'Greed' by Erich von Stroheim in 1924.
  • The Octopus (1901) - the first novel of a projected trilogy, The Epic of the Wheat. The Octopus descibes the raising of wheat in California and the conflict between the wheat growers and a railway company.
  • The Pit (1903) - the second novel in the trilogy, about wheat speculation on the Chicago Board of Trade.
  • The third novel, Wolf, was never written but was to have shown the American-grown wheat relieving a famine-stricken village in Europe.
  • Vandover and the Brute (posthumously published 1914) - a study of degeneration.

External links


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