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Prepared for the WWW by Barbara Bass, February 7, 2002; Last Updated April 2020
Inclusive Dates: 1960-1985
Extent: .33 cubic foot (1 document case)
Physical Location: 11th floor
Biographical Sketch: Nelson Algren (1909-1981) was best known for The Man With the Golden Arm (1949), which won the first National Book Award, and A Walk on the Wild Side (1956), which was a re-writing of his less-successful first book, Somebody in Boots (1935). Algren grew up in a poor neighborhood of Chicago which influenced his writing and provided background for some of his books. His characters were typically the poorest of the poor, and in his prose he bitterly depicted the hostile environment such people find themselves in, unafraid to lay blame at the feet of the capitalist society which both gave rise to this hostility and insisted on glossing over it. In the 1960s and 1970s, Algren produced a number of less noteworthy anthologies, and fell back into journalism (as he had been trained), covering the Vietnam war. He also taught writing at numerous universities, lectured, and wrote book reviews. His last novel, The Devil's Stocking, was published posthumously in 1983.
Scope and Content: The Nelson Algren-Matthew J. Bruccoli Papers consist of correspondence by and about Algren gathered by bibliographer Matthew J. Bruccoli for his Algren bibliography. The musical score for A Walk on the Wild Side and a typescript of the Bruccoli bibliography are also included. Folders are in order by date.
Folder -- Contents