SINCLAIR LEWIS, THE NOBLE LAUREATE AUTHOR, TO HIS CLOSE FRIEND FATHER MURPHY, ABOUT HIS NEW NOVEL: GIDEON PLANISH
LEWIS, SINCLAIR (1885-1951). American novelist, first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Autograph Letter Signed, “Ever, Sinclair Lewis,” on his name imprinted 300 Central Park West, New York City letterhead. 2 pages, quarto. May 1 (no year [1944?]). Two old minor tape stains at top blank margin, else very fine condition. To “Dear Father Murphy.” Lewis writes:
“Dear Father Murphy: I’m delighted that you liked Gideon so much. I’ve also written, this year, one 30,000=word novelette for Cosmopolitan + one ditto for Good Housekeeping + now, for the 1st time in two years, I get a vacation. In about 10 days I’m off for Minnesota , more exploring, for one – two – three months – I don’t know. Marcella has decided that it is too impossible to get a decent stage job – how right she is! – + all by herself, with no influence from me, she has a marvelous post as editorial assistant, reading MSs, on Good Housekeeping… I hope I’m going to see you this year. Ever Sinclair Lewis”
Lewis writes to his good friend Father Murphy most likely in 1943 after the publication of Gideon Planish and preceding the publication of Harri, a novelette which appeared in Good Housekeeping the same year. These works, like the rest of Lewis’ later writing did not live up to his work from the 1920s; from 1930 onward Lewis’ reputation was in a steady decline. Lewis, notorious for his inability to settle down as well as his alcoholic tendencies, had recently divorced his second wife, Dorothy Thompson, a distinguished journalist and foreign correspondent, on January 2, 1942, although he had been having an affair with much younger Marcella Powers since 1939.