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SISTER CARRIE by  Theodore Dreiser - 1901 - from Quill & Brush (SKU: 35680)


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by Dreiser, Theodore

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About This Item

London: Heinemann, 1901. First UK edition of his first book which was suppressed in the U.S. Pictorial cloth mildly faded on spine, faint stain on rear board, free endpapers show unavoidable darkening (from binding), bookseller blindstamp on front endpaper, and outer corner of first few pages gently creased. Still, a very attractive copy of a scarce book. SCARCE ENGLISH EDITION


Journalist-turned-author Theodore Dreiser’s novel Sister Carrie, which some consider to be the “greatest of all American urban novels,” is the quintessential country-mouse-in-the-city story, only more… risqué. The novel tells the story of Caroline “Sister Carrie” Meeber, a young girl from rural Wisconsin who moves to Chicago with hopes of becoming a star. Carrie first stays with her older sister and her husband, but she soon becomes involved with a married man and a series of other morally questionable decisions follow. While Carrie may sound obviously blinded by her dreams of a glamorous future — and some may argue that’s because she is — Dreiser chose to present her character and others with a focus on human instinct as opposed to judgment, making it an early work of the naturalist movement. As one might expect, Dreiser had a difficult time finding and securing a publisher for Sister Carrie. After the manuscript had already been rejected twice, Doubleday, Page’s Frank Norris, author of the naturalistic novel McTeague, offered Dreiser a contract for the publication. This resulted in some upset within the publishing house — primarily due to book’s “lack of morality” — and Doubleday, Page tried to back out of the deal. Dreiser demanded that the contract be fulfilled and Doubleday published 1,008 copies in November 1900. However, the novel was perhaps not as thoroughly publicized as it could have been. Just 465 copies actually sold (not including the 129 that were sent out for reviews). The remaining 423 copies were later turned over to a remainder house. Unsurprisingly, Sister Carrie received negative response shortly after publication. Beyond the novel’s general sexual content and overall pessimistic tone, critics of the time took issue with the idea of Carrie engaging in illicit sexual relationships without suffering any consequences. Also unsurprisingly, Sister Carrie is another example of a masterpiece that could only be appreciated with time. In his 1930 Nobel Prize lecture, Sinclair Lewis compared the impact of Dreiser’s Sister Carrie to the work of Mark Twain and Walt Whitman. Carrie, a film adaptation directed by William Wyler and starring Laurence Olivier and Jennifer Jones, premiered in 1952. Sister Carrie is ranked 33rd on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century.

Read More: Identifying first editions of SISTER CARRIE


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Quill & Brush US (US)
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Dreiser, Theodore
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Quill & Brush

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2007
Middletown, Maryland
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About Quill & Brush

Quill & Brush was established in 1976 by Allen & Patricia Ahearn, the authors of the well-respected reference for booksellers and collectors, Collected Books: The Guide to Identification and Values.At present the Quill & Brush is run by the Ahearns' eldest daughter, Beth Fisher. Allen is semi-retired but continues to buy, sell, and perform professional appraisals.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

A blindstamp is a stamped impression, usually an image, logo, words, or design on the cover or spine of a book, without color or... [More]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [More]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [More]

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