Published Oct 2016
The first examination of Nelson Algren in over 25 years, Algren is the definitive biography of one of the best-known writers of mid-20th-century America. Journalist Mary Wisniewski interviewed dozens of Algren's inner circle, including photographer Art Shay and the late Studs Terkel, and examined Algren's unpublished writing and correspondence, including hundreds of letters he received from lover Simone de Beauvoir, to craft an account as entertaining as it is meticulously researched. Algren reveals details about the writer's life, work, personality, and habits, digging beneath the street-crawling man's man stereotype to show a funny, sensitive, and romantic but self-destructive artist. This fresh look at the man whose tough but humorous style and compassionate message enchanted readers and fellow writers is indispensable to anyone interested in 20th-century American literature.