Frank Norris

Frank Norris (Benjamin Franklin Norris), 1870–1902, American novelist, b. Chicago. After studying in Paris, at the Univ. of California (1890–94), and at Harvard, he spent several years as a war correspondent in South Africa (1895–96) and Cuba (1898). His proletarian novel McTeague (1899) was influenced by the experimental naturalism of Zola. His most impressive works were two parts of a proposed novelistic trilogy entitled "The Epic of Wheat" —The Octopus (1901), depicting the brutal struggle between wheat farmers and the railroad, and The Pit (1903), dealing with speculation on the Chicago grain market. The trilogy and Norris's burgeoning literary career were cut short by his death from a ruptured appendix. The Responsibilities of the Novelist (1903). an essay collection, contains his idealistic views on the role of the writer.

See biography by J. R. McElrath, Jr. and J. S. Crisler (2005); study by B. Hochman (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

McTeague: A Story of San Francisco
Frank Norris; Jerome Loving.
Oxford University Press, 1995
FREE! The Pit: A Story of Chicago
Frank Norris.
A. Wessels, 1906
The Octopus
Frank Norris.
Sagamore Press, 1957
Documents of American Realism and Naturalism
Donald Pizer.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Fourteen "Three Essays on Naturalism" by Frank Norris and Chap. Fifteen "The Responsibilities of the Novelist" by Frank Norris
Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Donald Pizer.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1984 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Frank Norris's Definition of Naturalism," Chap. 10 "The Significance of Frank Norris's Literary Criticism," and Chap. 14 "Synthetic Criticism and Frank Norris's The Octopus"
Writing Realism: Howells, James, and Norris in the Mass Market
Daniel H. Borus.
University of North Carolina Press, 1989
The Eternal Adam and the New World Garden: The Central Myth in the American Novel since 1830
David W. Noble.
Braziller, 1968
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "The Naturalists: Frank Norris, Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser"
Five Novelists of the Progressive Era
Robert W. Schneider.
Columbia University Press, 1965
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Frank Norris: The Romantic Rebel"
Literature and Insurgency: Ten Studies in Racial Evolution: Mark Twain, Henry James, William Dean Howells, Frank Norris, David Graham Phillips, Stewart Edward White, Winston Churchill, Edith Wharton, Gertrude Atherton, and Robert W. Chambers
John Curtis Underwood.
Biblo and Tannen, 1974
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Frank Norris"
Mining and Rape in Frank Norris's McTeague
Cavalier, Philip Acree.
ATQ (The American Transcendental Quarterly), Vol. 14, No. 2, June 2000
Who's the Boss? McTeague, Naturalism and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Jacobson, Karen F.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 32, No. 2, June 1999
Sentenced to Death: The American Novel and Capital Punishment
David Guest.
University Press of Mississippi, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Two "Frank Norris's McTeague: Darwin and Police Power"
Love's Labor's Regained: The Making of Companionate Marriages in Frank Norris's the Pit
Piep, Karsten H.
Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 40, No. 1, Winter 2004
Domesticating Naturalism: The Example of 'The Pit.' (the Genders of Naturalism)
Eby, Clare Virginia.
Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 22, No. 2, Autumn 1994
Evolutionary Feminism, Popular Romance, and Frank Norris's 'Man's Woman.'
Civello, Paul.
Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 1996
FREE! Blix
Frank Norris.
Doubleday & McClure Co., 1900
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