The Neon Wilderness

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Author: Algren, Nelson (1909-1981)

Year: 1947

Publisher: Doubleday and Company

Place: Garden City


286 pages. Octavo (8" x 5 3/4") bound in original publisher's green cloth with brown lettering to spine with deckle fore-edge in original jacket. (Brucco A3.1.a) First edition, in first state dust jacket with list of Doubleday's fiction titles.

The Neon Wilderness, made up of small, sometimes delicately brutal gems about the dispossessed and the uninvited in the 1930s and '40s, in Chicago’s urban slums near Division Street, geographically close to Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue’s Miracle Mile. But for the inhabitants of Algren’s stories, these places are eons away, even beyond their fantasies. Nelson Algren emerged as a mature and original spokesman for a whole class of people usually excluded from literature except as marginal and stereotyped caricatures. In place of the condescending tone of most writing about the poor, Algren demonstrates the compassion of a man determined to live up to the people he is writing about. The stories bristle with many of Algren’s characteristic thematic and stylistic concerns. The more focused short-story form undermines his didactic, Communist streak, and though there are times when Algren sentimentalizes his characters, this does not diminish the overall power of these stories.


Spine sunned, light sunning to edges. Jacket with closed edge tears, spine ends chipped, closed tear at spine, spine age darkened else a very good copy in like jacket.

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