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Martin, Jay.

Nathaniel West: the Art of His Life

Nathaniel West: the Art of His Life

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New York: Farrar, Straux and Giroux, 1970. First Edition. xiv, 419 pages; 22 cm; bibliographical references. Very fine copy in same jacket housed in archival mylar. As new. Hardcover.

An exemplary copy. "Nathanael West (1903-1940), born Nathan Weinstein, was an American author and screenwriter whose work, steeped in dark humor and incisive social criticism, painted a stark portrait of the American dream and the allure of Hollywood. His prose, both biting and beautiful, captured the disillusionment and despair that often lurked beneath the surface of the American experience. In the heart of the Roaring Twenties, West left his native New York City for Paris, immersing himself in the literary scene and adopting the name Nathanael West. His novels, though not commercially successful during his lifetime, would later be recognized as masterpieces of satirical fiction. "Miss Lonelyhearts" (1933), one of his most celebrated works, tells the story of a newspaper advice columnist who, besieged by the heart-wrenching letters he receives, spirals into depression. The novel is a poignant exploration of human suffering and the search for meaning in a world often devoid of it. "The Day of the Locust" (1939), another of West's seminal works, offers a scathing critique of Hollywood and the film industry. It lays bare the desperation and disillusionment of those drawn to the glittering promise of fame and success, only to find a hollow core beneath the glamour. To sustain himself, West worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood, lending his talent to numerous films. However, his life and burgeoning career were tragically cut short in 1940 when he and his wife perished in a car accident. In the years following his death, West's work has been lauded for its unflinching social commentary and its influence on later generations of writers. His novels, with their stark depictions of the American experience, continue to resonate, their themes as relevant today as they were during West's time."

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