Sister Carrie

Sister Carrie

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Sister Carrie

Sister Carrie

Read FREE!

Excerpt

I am frequently asked for the story of the trials and tribulations attendant upon the publication of my first novel -- Sister Carrie. The interest of the story to me at this time lies in the picture it presents of the moral taboos of that day as reflected by publishing conditions that made possible such an experience as mine in connection with Sister Carrie.

When I first turned to writing it was mainly articles for magazines that occupied my attention. But having no such "happy" stories to tell as those that filled the pages of the popular magazines of the day, I met with little success. My own reactions to life were so diametrically opposed to the fiction of that time. I then turned to a novel, beginning its first pages in the autumn of 1899 and finishing it in May, 1900. But even with the novel finished, I found little encouragement. I took it first to Henry Mills Alden, editor of Harper's Magazine, who read the manuscript and, while expressing approval, at the same time doubted whether any publisher would take it. The American mass mind of that day, as he knew, was highly suspicious of any truthful interpretation of life. However, he turned it over to Harper & Brothers, who kept it three weeks and then informed me that they could not publish it.

I next submitted it to Doubleday Page, where Frank Norris occupied the position of reader. He recommended it most enthusiastically to his employers, and it seemed that my book was really to be published, for a few weeks later I signed a contract with Doubleday Page and the book was printed.

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