Nelson Algren (2746 words)

James A. Lewin (Shepherd College)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


Marginalized but not forgotten, Nelson Algren remains one of the most underrated authors of American literature. Algren published five novels, a volume of short stories, three books of nonfiction, and a book length essay Chicago: City on the Make. The recipient of numerous grants and prizes, including the first National Book Award in 1950 for The Man with the Golden Arm and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Merit in 1974, he defined literature as “a protest made against the legal apparatus by a conscience in touch with humanity.”

Yet most academic critics have ignored Algren. Except for a coterie of enthusiasts and fellow writers, the current generation of readers has …

Citation: Lewin, James A.. "Nelson Algren". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 June 2005 [, accessed 28 July 2021.]

Articles on Algren's Works

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here