The Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary American Essays by Robert Pack, Jay Parini

By Robert Pack, Jay Parini

Thirty-two of America's top modern authors perform the paintings of the essay in its diversified kinds.

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By Robert Pack, Jay Parini

Thirty-two of America's top modern authors perform the paintings of the essay in its diversified kinds.

Show description

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I am superstitious. " Lewis was now living in hotels and rented apartments and writing two mediocre novels and a forgettable play, while appearing frequently on the stage (and still chasing young actresses). He did visit his wife occasionally at Twin Farms, such as a time when his son Michael was ill with pneumonia, and another time in 1939. It was shortly after the ten-day stay of corporate lawyer Wendell Willkie. " Lewis, still stagestruck, was full of plans to appear in summer stock productions in Maine.

Equipment from nearby Pomfret and Woodstock arrived, and after they too ran out of water the Woodstock firemen deployed nearly a third of a mile of hose to a nearby pond. But the wind had stiffened by then, and there was no way to save the structure. ''We didn't save a thing," young Gregory Lewis said later of the historic, 291-year-old farmhouse and its contents, which were once owned by his grandparents, Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson. " Sinclair Lewis was the most successful American writer in 1927, though most of his best work was behind him when he stopped in Berlin and met Dorothy Thompson at a diplomatic reception.

Lewis wrote Harcourt for a thousand dollars from his royalty account. "Carpenter's bills, mason's bills, all that," he explained, ''but Lord! " They might even move over to the other house when it was done, he added. " Less than two months later, he was reporting to Harcourt that "all goes well though most placidly. The new house, which will have cost me about $10,000 beyond the first purchase price, will be done in about three weeksand, thank God, the huge expense will then cease. It will be a wonderful guest house and could, if we ever wanted to, be sold as a separate unit, leaving us this place and a couple of hundred acres.

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