Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust
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Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust

By (author) Nathaniel West , Introduction by Jonathan Lethem

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"Somehow or other I seem to have slipped in between all the 'schools, '" observed Nathanael West the year before his untimely death in 1940. "My books meet no needs except my own, their circulation is practically private and I'm lucky to be published." Yet today, West is widely recognized as a prophetic writer whose dark and comic vision of a society obsessed with mass-produced fantasies foretold much of what was to come in American life. Miss Lonelyhearts (1933), which West envisioned as "a novel in the form of a comic strip, " tells of an advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist who becomes tragically embroiled in the desperate lives of his readers. The Day of the Locust (1939) is West's great dystopian Hollywood novel based on his experiences at the seedy fringes of the movie industry.

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  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 129.54 x 200.66 x 12.7mm | 204.12g
  • 23 Jun 2009
  • New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • New York
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0811218228
  • 9780811218221
  • 53,187

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Review quote

In dark times, Miss Lonelyhearts shines the brightest light in the blackest places. For this reason West s novel has never felt more alive than today. --Nathaniel Rich"

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Back cover copy

"Somehow or other I seem to have slipped in between all the 'schools, '" observed Nathanael West the year before his untimely death in 1940. "My books meet no needs except my own, their circulation is practically private and I'm lucky to be published". Yet today, West is widely recognized as a prophetic writer whose dark and comic vision of a society obsessed with mass-produced fantasies foretold much of what was to come in American life. Miss Lonelyhearts (1933), which West envisioned as "a novel in the form of a comic strip", tells of an advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist who becomes tragically embroiled in the desperate lives of his readers. The Day of the Locust (1939) is West's great dystopian Hollywood novel based on his experiences at the seedy fringes of the movie industry.

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Flap copy

"Somehow or other I seem to have slipped in between all the 'schools, '" observed Nathanael West the year before his untimely death in 1940. "My books meet no needs except my own, their circulation is practically private and I'm lucky to be published." Yet today, West is widely recognized as a prophetic writer whose dark and comic vision of a society obsessed with mass- produced fantasies foretold much of what was to come in American life. Miss Lonelyhearts (1933), which West envisioned as "a novel in the form of a comic strip," tells of an advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist who becomes tragically embroiled in the desperate lives of his readers. The Day of the Locust (1939) is West's great dystopian Hollywood novel based on his experiences at the seedy fringes of the movie industry. "The work of Nathanael West, savagely, comically, tragically original, has come into its own," said novelist and screenwriter Budd Schulberg. "A new public [has] discovered in the writings of West a brilliant reflection of its own sense of chaos and helplessness in a world running more to madness than to reason."

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