Sister Carrie Free PDF novel by Theodore Dreiser (1914)

Sister Carrie PDF novel by Theodore Dreiser (1914)

Sister Carrie PDF novel by Theodore Dreiser

Sister Carrie is a novel by Theodore Dreiser about a young country girl who moves to the big city where she starts realizing her own American Dream, first as a mistress to men that she perceives as superior.

Introduction from the book:
THE EARLY ADVENTURES OF
SISTER CARRIE

I am frequently asked for the story of the trials and tribulations attendant upon the publication of my first novel Sister Carrie. The interest of the story to me at this time lies in the picture it presents of the moral taboos of that day as reflected by publishing conditions that made possible such an experience as mine in connection with Sister Carrie. When I first turned to write it was mainly articles for magazines that occupied my attention. But having no such "happy" stories to tell as those that filled the pages of the popular magazines of the day, I met with little success. My own reactions to life were so diametrically opposed to the fiction of that time. I then turned to a novel, beginning its first pages in the autumn of 1899 and finishing it in May 1900. But even with the novel finished, I found little encouragement. I took it first to Henry Mills Alden, editor of Har- per's Magazine, who read the manuscript and, while expressing approval, at the same time doubted whether any publisher would take it. The American mass mind of that day, as he knew, was highly suspicious of any truthful interpretation of life. However, he turned it over to Harper & Brothers, who kept it three weeks and then informed me that they could not publish it. I next submitted it to Doubleday Page, where Frank Norris occupied the position of the reader. He recommended it most enthusiastically to his employers, and it seemed that my book was really to be published, for a few weeks later I signed a contract with Doubleday Page and the book was printed.



In the meantime (as I was told by Frank Norris himself, and later by William Heinemann, the publisher, of London), Mrs. Frank Doubleday read the manuscript and was horrified by its frankness. She was a social worker and active in moral reform, and because of her strong dislike for the book and insistence that it be withdrawn from publication, Doubleday Page decided not to put it in circulation. However, Frank Norris remained firm in his belief that the book should come before the American public, and persuaded me to insist on the publishers carrying out the contract. Their legal adviser one Thomas McKee, who afterward personally narrated to me his share in all this was called in, and he advised the firm that it was legally obliged to go on with the publication, it has signed a contract to do so, but that this did not necessarily include selling? in short, the books, after publication, might be thrown into the cellar! I believe this advice was followed to the letter because no copies were ever sold. But Frank Norris, as he himself told me, did manage to send out some copies to book reviewers, probably a hundred of them.

After some five years, I induced J. F. Taylor & Company, rare book dealers, to undertake the publication of Sister Carrie providing I would precede it with a new novel. My intention was to furnish them with Jennie Gerhardt, but my health being poor I could not complete it. In the meantime, the plates of Sister Carrie and some bound and unbound copies had been purchased by them for five hundred dollars or thereabouts. Later, having turned to editorial work, I laid up sufficient to repurchase the plates and copies and thereafter until the reissue of the work by B. W. Dodge Company the same remained in my possession, and still do.

In 1901 Sister Carrie was published by Heinemann in London and gained considerable publicity. Acting on this, I took the manuscript (in 1907, when I was editor of the Butterick publications) to the then newly formed publish- ing house of B. W. Dodge Company, who brought the book out in that year. In 1908 Grosset & Dunlap published Sister Carrie, using the same plates, but even at that day the outraged protests far outnumbered the plaudits. Later, in 1911, it was reissued by Harper & Brothers, who had just published Jennie Gerhardt. Still later, after John Lane had thrown me out on account of "The Genius," it was taken over by Boni & Liveright and published. That was in 1917. And there its harried and varied wanderings ended.



Author: Theodore Dreiser
 Publication Date: 1914
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