Monday, July 29, 2013

Booth Tarkington wrote of Middle America

Booth Tarkington was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Princeton University.
It is the birthday of writer Booth Tarkington (1869), who won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize for The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) and again in 1922 for Alice Adams (1921). He also is remembered for The Gentleman from Indiana (1899), Monsieur Beaucaire (1900), Penrod (1914), and Seventeen (1916). Tarkington was from Indiana and mostly he wrote about the Midwest and the middle class. The Magnificent Ambersons deals with a declining aristocratic family after the Civil War and before World War I. It highlights the contrast between the rise of New Money and the fall of Old Money. Alice Adams focuses on a lower middle class young woman trying to climb the social ladder and attract a wealthy young man who eschews his background in favor of mixing with the lower classes. Both novels were adapted for the movies.

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