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Floyd Dell Biography

(1887–1969), The Masses, The Liberator, Moon-Calf, The Briary-Bush, Janet March, Runaway

American novelist and radical journalist, born in Illinois. Dell established himself as a journalist in Chicago and became a leading light of the Chicago literary renaissance, where he furthered the careers of Sherwood Anderson and Theodore Dreiser. He moved to New York in 1914, and became involved with the bohemian radical intelligentsia of Greenwich Village. Here, he worked as a journalist and editor on The Masses and The Liberator while also writing several one-act plays. He made his name with his first novel, Moon-Calf (1920), one of the first novels to explore the changing sexual and social mores of the disillusioned post-First World War American bohemian generation; he continued his portrait of the times in the sequel The Briary-Bush (1921). Further novels Janet March (1923), Runaway (1925), and Love in Greenwich Village (1926) continued to explore life amongst the unconventional in bohemian New York. During this time, he also wrote a study in child psychology, Were You Ever a Child? (1919); one of the earliest critical studies of the writings of Upton Sinclair, Upton Sinclair: A Study in Social Protest (1927); the comic novel An Unmarried Father (1927); and a description of his views on sex in Love in the Machine Age (1930); he also edited an edition of Richard Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy in 1931 and wrote his autobiography Homecoming (1933), bringing him up to his thirty-fifth year, before moving to Washington, DC to work for the Federal Writers' Project until his retirement in 1947.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Walter John De La Mare Biography to Hilda Doolittle Biography