Algren, Nelson

Algren, Nelson ôlˈgrən [key], 1909–81, American novelist, b. Detroit. He grew up in Chicago, and much of his fiction is set in the city's slums. His novels, such as Never Come Morning (1942), The Man with the Golden Arm (1949, National Book Award), and A Walk on the Wild Side (1956), are brutally realistic. Around 1960 he stopped writing novels, his career having been sabotaged by the secret efforts of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI to silence him. Later he mainly wrote journalistic pieces, reviews, and, in a lighter vein, the personal sketches collected in Who Lost an American (1963), Notes from a Sea Diary (1965), and The Last Carousel (1973).

See biography by C. Asher (2019).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies