Lewis, Sinclair (1885–1951), U.S. novelist, best known for 5 novels presenting a devastatingly critical view of life in the Middle West. Main Street (1920) was his first major success. Babbitt (1922), a portrait of a provincial small businessman, is perhaps his best-known book. He refused a Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith (1925), a satirical look at the medical profession. Elmer Gantry (1927) and Dodsworth (1929) followed. In 1930 he became the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature.