|The purpose of this timeline of Theodore Dreiser’s life, career, and publication history is to highlight key dates and events including milestones in his life and also including turning points and incidents that shed light on Dreiser’s development, professionally and as a writer, and the development of his views.
Seemingly less important accounts or reports (some of which proved to be inaccurate), the occasional passing mention or fleeting glimpse gleaned from a newspaper account, have been included to give verisimilitude to this chronology, and to show the expectations held by the public at a given time about Dreiser’s output and productions of his works, and false starts Dreiser made.
A key emphasis has been placed in this chronology on the publication history of Dreiser’s works, both in the U.S. and other counties, to show how far and wide Dreiser’s influence and reputation have spread.
Also included in this chronology are seminal works of scholarship that represent key junctures in Dreiser studies.
It is hoped that the chronology posted here, besides listing facts, will give a feeling for the zigs and zags of Dreiser’s life, its ups and downs, and how events shaped the once callow reporter into a literary lion given more and more at the end of his life to pronouncements and less to actual literary output.
-- Roger W. Smith
9 September 1821 -- Johann Paul Dreiser, Dreiser’s father, born in the town of Mayen, Germany.
8 May 1833 -- Sarah Maria Schänäb or Schnepp, Dreiser’s mother, born in Ohio.
1844 -- Johann Paul Dreiser emigrates to United States from Mayen.
1 January 1851 -- Dreiser’s parents married in Dayton, OH. His mother Sarah had eloped at age 17 with her 29 year old husband to be.
circa 1853 -- Dreiser’s parents move to Terre Haute, IN.
1850’s – The first three children of Johann and Sarah Dreiser -- Jacob, George, and Xavier – die in early childhood.
22 April 1858 -- Johann Paul Dresser, Jr. (Paul) -- the first child of Johan Paul and Sarah Marie Dreiser to survive past infancy -- born in Terre Haute. He will later become a famous songwriter under the adopted stage name Paul Dresser.
1860-1868 -- Six more Dreiser children born: brother Markus Romanus (Rome; b. 1860); sister Maria Franziska or Mary Frances (Mame; the model for Jennie Gerhardt; b. 1861); sister Emma Wilhelmina (the model for Carrie Meeber in Sister Carrie; b. 1863); sister Mary Theresa (b. 3 Aug. 1864); sister Cacilia (Sylvia; b. 25 Sep 1864; other sources say 1866); brother Alphons Joachim (b. 1867); sister Clara Clothilde (Claire; b. 1868 or 1869).
circa July 1863 -- the Dreiser family move to Sullivan, IN.
28 April 1866 -- Dreiser’s father suffers accident in Sullivan woolen mill.
summer 1871 -- Dreiser family moves back to Terre Haute.
27 August 1871 -- Dreiser born in Terre Haute, the twelfth of thirteen children. He is baptized Herman Theodore Dreiser.
10 September 1871 -- Dreiser baptized, St. Benedict's Catholic Church, Terre Haute. He is christened Herman Theodore Dreiser.
27 June 1873 -- Dreiser’s brother Eduard Minerod Dreiser, the ninth and last child of Johann Paul and Sarah Marie, is born.
19 February 1876 -- Dreiser’s brother Paul arrested for stealing. He is convicted, spends a few weeks in jail, and is fined.
1877-78 -- Dreiser enters St. Benedict’s Catholic School in Terre Haute. Classes are conducted entirely in German.
spring 1879 -- Dreiser’s mother moves to Vincennes, IN with her three youngest children: Claire, Theodore, and Edward. Their stay is brief and they move back to Sullivan.
late spring 1882 -- Dreiser’s mother and her three youngest children, including Dreiser, move to Evansville, IN, where older brother Paul Dresser is living with his mistress.
1883 -- Dreiser, age 12, moves to Chicago with his mother and some siblings and lives there briefly.
fall 1884 -- Dreiser’s family moves to Warsaw, Indiana, where he attends the B Ward School, the first time he has attended a public rather than Catholic parochial school. He develops a schoolboy crush on his teacher May Calvert, who teaches a combined sixth and seventh grade class. Dreiser enjoys being a student for the first time.
February 1886 -- Incident occurs in Chicago in which cashier L. A. Hopkins steals money from his employer, Chapin & Gore, and flees with his mistress, Dreiser’s sister Emma. This incident will provide the factual basis for the plot of Sister Carrie and the characters in the novel Hurstwood and Carrie Meeber.
1887 -- The adolescent Dreiser moves back to Chicago, where sisters are already living, and works at a variety of menial jobs.
1889-90 – Dreiser spends a freshman year at Indiana University at Bloomington. His attendance is paid for by a former teacher, Mildred Fielding.
14 November 1890 -- Dreiser’s mother Sarah Maria Dreiser (in the death notice her middle name was Anglicized as Mary) dies at age 57 in Chicago. Her address at the time was 60 Flournoy Street, Chicago. The funeral was held at St. Boniface Roman Catholic church two days later, on Sunday, November 16.
December 1891 -- Works at temporary job during Christmas season in the business department of Chicago Herald.
21 June 1892 -- After hanging out in anteroom of the Chicago Globe offices for some time, hoping to be hired, Dreiser gets an assignment as a reporter. His first news story, “Cleveland and Gray the Ticket," is published in the Globe, a scoop about the Republican nominee for president which earns Dreiser, who was the lucky beneficiary of a tip, instant credibility in the newsroom.
1892-1893 -- Having blossomed as a reporter, gets recommended to and lands position with a much more highly regarded newspaper, the St. Louis Globe Democrat. Develops as a writer with a flair for the human interest story and begins to identify himself as a creative person. Befriends young men with artistic and writerly aspirations. Talks his way into a short-lived career as a drama critic as well as reporter.
14 December 1892 -- The first “Heard in the Corridors" item by Dreiser (attributed to him on the basis of internal evidence) is published in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
1 April 1893 -- "The Black Diva's Concert," a review by Dreiser, appears in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. The review is ridiculed by rival newspapers because of its flowery and effusive writing and its lavish praise of a black performer.
May 1893 -- A faked review by Dreiser of a performance that was canceled at the last minute leads to his leaving the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. It is possible that he was fired, but it seems more likely that he felt compelled to resign and did so voluntarily because of his embarrassment over this mistake.
23 May 1893 -- Dreiser’s first attributed story appears in St. Louis Republic, a lesser publication where he lands job shortly after having left the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
17-23 July 1893 -- Covers World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago as a reporter, accompanying a group of teachers (whose trip Dreiser has been assigned to cover) who had been sponsored as visitors by the newspaper. Meets Sara Osborne White, whom he will court and eventually marry.
18 January 1894 -- Dreiser’s news story, “Ten-Foot Drop,” about the lynching of a black youth is published in the St. Louis Republic. It will provide the factual basis for his story “Nigger Jeff” (1901).
19 February 1894 -- Dreiser’s last attributed story published in St. Louis Republic.
March 1894 -- Leaves St. Louis Republic. Migrates eastward -- the move spurred initially by a short-lived venture with a friend to start a small town newspaper in Ohio -- working as a freelance reporter and with dreams of eventually becoming successful in New York
28 March 1894 -- Dreiser’s story on a streetcar strike (assigned to him by city editor Arthur Henry) appears in Toledo (OH) Blade.
20 April 1894 -- Publishes story in Cleveland Leader as freelance reporter.
28 April 1894 -- Dreiser publishes first of 14 stories attributed to him in Pittsburgh Dispatch. While in Pittsburgh, reads avidly at public library works such as Balzac’s The Wild Ass’s Skin, which, he later wrote, was for him “a literary revolution.” (This leads to his devouring other Balzac works.) Dreiser also becomes acquainted with the theories of the English social philosopher Herbert Spencer (in his First Principles), which Dreiser adopts and incorporates into what would become a mechanistic and deterministic world-view that would heavily influence his later friction.
summer 1894 -- invited by his older brother Paul, Dreiser travels to New York City. He is reunited with his sister Emma and meets her purported husband, Lorenzo A. Hopkins.
20 November 1894 -- Dreiser’s last known (attributed) story published in Pittsburgh Dispatch. He relocates to New York City.
28 June 1894 – Dreiser’s brother Alphons J. Dreiser, age 27, and Margaret May Steinman, age 26, are married in Chicago in a civil ceremony.
December 1894-February 1895 -- Dreiser is employed as a “spaceman” (a journalist paid according to the space occupied by his writing) by the New York World. His first story, “Better Tenements Wanted,” appears on December 13, 1894. His last attributed story, "Did He Blow Out the Gas?" is published on February 16, 1895. It describes a death much like Hurstwood’s suicide in Sister Carrie. Dreiser gives up on newspaper career.
spring 1895 -- Dreiser is hired as editor of Ev’ry Month, a magazine which will begin publication in October, at a salary of ten dollars a week, to be raised to fifteen dollars when the magazine commences publication. The magazine is published by Hawley, Havilland & Co., a New York firm that publishes sheet music of which Dreiser’s brother, Paul Dresser, is a principal. Dreiser will give the magazine a slightly literary bent. He will use editor's column as a forum for expressing ideas and views.
12 June 1897 -- Dreiser’s sister Maria Franziska Dreiser (Mame) marries Austin Daniel Brennan, age 48, in Chicago. The age for Maria given on the marriage certificate (no doubt so reported by her) was 30, but she was actually 35.
1 July 1897 -- Publication of "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away," a song by Dreiser's brother Paul. Dreiser is said to have written part of the lyrics.
circa September 1997 -- Dreiser is fired as editor of Ev’ry Month.
19 September 1897 -- "In Memory of Mrs. Stowe: Fitting Tribute to the Great Writer in Marble" by Theodore Dreiser published in Los Angeles Times (and elsewhere?). The content of this article is from a "Reflections" column by Dreiser previously published in Ev’ry Month. What is interesting about its publication is that it seems to be one of the first instances of Dreiser publishing a free-lance article. It also indicates a tendency he followed of recycling his own work (and, later, plagiarizing from others).
10 October 1897 -- Dreiser publishes an article on the Lambs Club of New York in the New York Times Illustrated Weekly Magazine, presumably his first free-lance assignment since leaving Ev’ry Month.
22 October 1897 -- Dreiser’s sister, Mrs. Theresa Davis, age 31, is struck while riding a bicycle at the South Park Avenue railroad crossing in Chicago and killed.
November 1897 -- Publishes four more freelance articles: "New York's Art Colony. The Literary and Art Retreat at Bronxville" in the magazine Metropolitan; "Our Women Violinists" in Puritan; "On the Field of Brandywine" in Truth; "James A. Dolph" in The New York Times Illustrated Weekly Magazine.
21 December 1897 -- Lorenzo A. (Grove) Hopkins, the estranged husband (perhaps ex-common law husband) of Dreiser’s sister Emma and the model for Hurstwood in Sister Carrie, dies in Brooklyn, NY at age 53.
1898 -- Publishes three articles on prominent Americans in Success. Publishes four articles in The New York Times Illustrated Weekly Magazine.
April 1898 -- "Resignation," Dreiser’s first published poem, appears in the April 1898 number of Demorest's, followed by seven more poems by Dreiser published in 1898: "Night Song (Ainslee’s, August 1898); "Moratorium" (Demorest’s, September 1898); "Thou Giant" (Success, September 1898); "Supplication" (Demorest's, October 1898); "The Return"; "Through All Adversity"; "And Continueth Not" (Ainslee’s, December 1898).
October 1898 -- Article by Dreiser about Chicago’s river, “the smallest river doing the largest business in the world,” by Dreiser is published in Metropolitan magazine.
28 December 1898 -- Dreiser and Sara Osborne White (nicknamed Jug) married in Washington, DC after a long courtship.
summer 1899 -- During summer visit with Arthur Henry and his wife in Maumee, Ohio, Dreiser writes his first story, "McEwen of the Shining Slave Makers," followed by four other stories ("Old Rogaum and His Theresa," "Nigger Jeff," "The World and the Bubble, "When the Old Century Was New") written by Dreiser that summer.
1899 -- Publishes poem ("In Keeping") in Demorest's and two poems ("Bondage" and "The Unrewarded") in Ainslee’s.
September or October 1899 -- Begins Sister Carrie. Lives in West 102nd Street apartment with his wife Jug and Arthur Henry. Often collaborating with Henry on story ideas, Dreiser continues to pursue career as a successful and prolific writer of colorful freelance pieces for major magazines.
20 August 1900 -- Signs contract with Doubleday for publication of Sister Carrie. Complications will arise with publisher before book comes out and it almost does not get published.
summer 1900 -- While visiting wife Jug’s family in Missouri, Dreiser begins work on a novel called The Rake, which he abandons, returns to later, but never finishes.
20 August 1900 --A “Memorandum of Agreement,” the contract for the publication of Sister Carrie, is signed by Dreiser and Doubleday employee Frank Norris as a witness for the Doubleday, Page signature. The book’s title on the contract is “The Flesh & the Spirt,” which Dreiser changes in his own hand to “Sister Carrie.”
8 November 1900 -- Sister Carrie published by Doubleday, Page, & Co.
25 December 1900 -- Death of Dreiser’s father at the home of Dreiser’s sister Mary F. Brennan (Mame) in Rochester, NY.
1901 -- Sister Carrie published in an abridged edition in England in Heinemann’s series, The Dollar Library of American Fiction, a significant development in securing Dreiser recognition as a writer and keeping him in critical favor as a novelist of some repute.
6 January 1901 -- Begins a second novel, The Transgressor (Dreiser’s original title for Jennie Gerhardt), and within five months has completed forty chapters.
January 1901 -- Dreiser's short story "When the Old Century Was New" is published in Pearson's.
summer 1901 -- Dreiser and Jug spend time on an island off the coast of Connecticut with Arthur Henry and Anna Mallon (later Henry’s second wife). Dreiser is portrayed unfavorably in a book by Henry about that summer, An Island Cabin (1902), leading to discord between Dreiser and Henry.
November 1901 -- Dreiser’s story "Nigger Jeff" published in Ainslee’s.
November 1901 -- Troubled by financial worries and his inability to work on Jennie Gerhardt, Dreiser leaves New York for the South, beginning with a brief stay in Bedford City, Virginia, where they live briefly, Dreiser in hopes of being able to work in tranquility on Jennie Gerhardt.
12 December 1901 -- "Butcher Rogaum's Door" (later republished as "Old Rogaum and His Theresa") published in Reedy's Mirror.
1902 -- Dreiser beings a period of wandering for a couple of years, beginning with a trip through the South. He often lives apart from his wife, is in financial straits, and is often despondent. His output as a freelance magazine writer dwindles.
26 January 1902 -- The first known interview of Dreiser, "Author of Sister Carrie Formerly Was a St. Louisan" is published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at a time when Dreiser is visiting his wife’s family in Missouri.
July 1902 -- Dreiser moves to Philadelphia and spends several months there.
October 1902 -- Has first of several consultations with Dr. Louis Adolphus During, a prominent Philadelphia dermatologist, and is diagnosed as suffering from neurasthenia.
December 1902 -- Abandons work on Jennie Gerhardt (the novel will not be completed until more than 10 years later) and stops writing for the most part (with the exception of the occasional article). During much of this time, Dreiser is living apart from his wife, who is often at her family home in Missouri.
February 1903 -- moves to cheap lodgings in Brooklyn. Undergoes a period of non-productivity, penuriousness, and near suicidal despair chronicled in the posthumously published memoir An Amateur Laborer.
April 1903 -- A chance meeting with his brother Paul in Manhattan is followed by Paul’s coming to Dreiser’s assistance at a time when Dreiser had reached the depths of poverty and despair. Paul arranges for Dreiser to be sent to a sanatorium (what today would probably be called a health club or camp, not a mental institution) in Port Chester, Westchester County, NY run by William Muldoon where a regimen of strenuous exercise and good diet improve Dreiser considerably.
5 June 1903 -- Dreiser is hired as a laborer and clerk for a work crew on the New York Central Railroad. He works -- while living (sans wife) in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx -- at a carpentry shop in Spuyten Duyvil in upper Manhattan.
(24?) December 1903 -- Resigns position with New York Central Railroad.
January 1904 -- Gets job (with brother Paul’s help) as feature editor on the New York Daily News and moves into an apartment in the Bronx with his wife.
10 August 1904 -- Dreiser hears from his friend Richard Duffy, an editor at pulp fiction publishers Street and Smith (publishers of Ainslee’s magazine), about an opening for an assistant editor of boys’ dime novels at a salary of fifteen dollars a week. He assumes the position shortly thereafter, in mid-August, and is employed by Street and Smith for about nineteen and a half months, eventually becoming editor of Smith’s magazine (in April 1905). It has been asserted that Dreiser wrote some dime novels (a genre he was familiar with from his boyhood) during his employment with Street and Smith.
30 January 1906 -- Dreiser’s brother Paul Dresser, age 47, dies of a brain hemorrhage at his sister Emma’s apartment on 203 West 106th Street in Manhattan.
2 February 1906 -- Funeral of Paul Dresser, Church of St. Francis Xavier, New York, NY.
April 1906 -- Dreiser becomes managing editor of The Broadway Magazine.
April 1907 -- A photograph of a pensive Dreiser is published in The Bookman. A caption reads: “Mr. Dreiser’s Sister Carrie has been pronounced by many eminent critics to be an extraordinary novel. It was first issued five or six years ago, but for some mysterious reason was so quickly withdrawn that the reading public had no chance to judge it. Consequently, its forthcoming appearance will be, to all practical purposes, a first publication. Among those who expressed high admiration for the book were Hamlin Garland and Frank Norris.”
18 May 1907 -- Sister Carrie, which had not sold well or been actively promoted by its original publisher, Doubleday, is republished by B. W. Dodge & Company.
July 1907 -- Dreiser is operated on for appendicitis at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York.
August 1907 -- Dreiser is appointed editor of The Delineator, Designer, and New Idea Woman’s Magazine, published by Butterick Publications.
1907-1910 -- Advancing rapidly in pay and status, Dreiser serves as editor in chief of Buttterick Publications. During this time, his independent, creative writing seems to have ceased. He is well off, lives comfortably on Manhattan’s West Side with his wife Jug, and is, on the surface at least, a successful and respectable married man.
March 1908 -- Meets H. L. Mencken, when Mencken agrees to ghost-write a series of articles on child care for The Delineator.
October 1908 -- As editor of The Delineator, Dreiser travels to Washington as part of the magazine’s campaign to aid orphans and, with James E. West of the Home Finding Society for Dependent Children, has a White House meeting with President Theodore Roosevelt.
July 1909 -- With William Neil Smith, Dreiser secures control of a bankrupt magazine, The Bohemian, for $1,000. He keeps his involvement as editor of the short-lived publication secret from the Butterick Publishing Company, his employers.
December 1909 -- "The Red Slayer," Bohemian, December 1909 (signed with Dreiser's often used pen name "Edward Al"), seems to be the last of Dreiser's published articles from his period as a magazine editor (and, prior to that, as a freelance magazine writer).
1910 -- Sister Carrie is republished in London by Heinemann in an abridged version.
October 1910 -- Dreiser is fired from his prestigious position as editor of The Delineator because of circumstances resulting from his pursuit of an affair (described in Dreiser's The “Genius”) with Thelma Cudlipp, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Anne Cudlipp, an assistant editor of The Delineator. Anne Cudlipp threatens scandalous publicity over the affair, which leads to the breakup of Dreiser’s marriage. The reasons for Dreiser’s “resignation” are disguised. According to The Writer (February 1911), he had resigned “[i]n order to devote himself entirely too literary work."
1910 -- Encouraged by H. L. Mencken, Dreiser resumes work on Jennie Gerhardt and completes first draft.
11 June 1910 -- In a double wedding, Helen Esther Patges, who will become Dreiser’s second wife, and her older sister Hazel Patges are married at the home of their parents in Portland, Oregon. Helen is only 16 at the time. Her groom is Francis Dawson Richardson of Charleston, South Carolina. Present at the wedding was Mrs. Carl Milo Dies, an aunt of Helen’s who sang a hymn. She was the mother of Harold Dies, Helen’s cousin, who would become Trustee of the Dreiser Trust.
circa 1911 - Moves to Greenwich Village. Becomes an advocate and practitioner of free love. Associates with Village’s bohemian element.
circa August 1911 -- finishes first draft of The “Genius.” Puts it aside to work on The Financier, the first volume of a trilogy based on the life of financier and streetcar magnate Charles Tyson Yerkes.
19 October 1911 -- Jennie Gerhardt published by Harper & Brothers in New York and London.
November 1911 -- H. L. Mencken writes a glowing review of Jennie Gerhardt in Smart Set, calling it “the best American novel I have ever read, with the lonesome but Himalayan exception of ‘Huckleberry Finn’ “
22 November 1911 -- Dreiser sails for England on the Mauretania. Travels in England and on the Continent for the next few months as the guest of the English publisher Grant Richards on a tour leading to an expected book. An initial impetus for the tour was to continue research on Yerkes, who played a major role in the establishment of the London underground.
30 April 1912 -- A royalty statement from Harper’s indicates that Jennie Gerhardt to date has sold 12,717 copies, earning for Dreiser $2,304.87, and that 1,026 copies of the reissued Sister Carrie have been sold, earning Dreiser $138.37.
14 October 1912 -- The Financier is published by Harper & Brothers. (Revised edition published in 1927.)
21 December 1912 -- The title of a review of The Financier in the Yorkshire Observer, "Books and Their Writers: America's Greatest Novelist," is indicative of Dreiser’s growing and suddenly achieved literary stature.
late December 1912 -- Dreiser travels to Chicago to gather material about Charles Tyson Yerkes for The Titan.
January 1913 -- Dreiser meets the actress Kirah Markham (the stage name of Elaine Hyman), to whom he had been introduced by writer Floyd Dell, in Chicago. Dreiser and Markham immediately become lovers. She terminates her relationship with Dell ((much to his dismay), moves to New York (spring 1913), and lives with Dreiser in Greenwich Village.
11 July 1913 -- "Authors Dreiser and Brady Join in Hawthorne Plea," an article in the St. Louis Star, notes the support of Dreiser and other literary men for the Star’s campaign for the release of Julian Hawthorne (son of author Nathaniel Hawthorne), then imprisoned in a federal penitentiary on a charge of defrauding the public and misuse of the United States Postal Service.
summer 1913 -- Writes one-act play, The Girl in the Coffin, which is published in The Smart Set (October 1913).
25 November 1913 -- A Traveler at Forty published by Century Co. The book recounts Dreiser's European travels in 1912.
1914 -- having separated permanently from Jug, Dreiser moves into apartment at 165 West 10th Street in Greenwich Village.
18 March 1914- The News (Chicago) reports: “Theodore Dreiser expects to return to Chicago to live after having been an inmate of New York for twenty years.”
April 1914 -- The Titan, a sequel to The Financier, is canceled by Harper’s just before its publication.
10 May 1914 -- The Titan, the second volume in Dreiser’s Cowperwood trilogy (about Charles T. Yerkes), is published by John Lane Company, a British firm.
1914 -- Revises The “Genius” and works on another novel, The Bulwark (based on the Quaker father of Dreiser’s lover and literary agent Anna Tatum). The Bulwark will not be published until 1946, when it is published posthumously.
1914 -- Writes five one-act plays -- The Blue Sphere, In the Dark, Laughing Gas, The Spring Recital, and The Light in the Window - and a film scenario, “The Born Thief.” Also writes a philosophical essay, “Saving the Universe.” Begins an autobiography which is later published as Dawn.
1915 -- The title of a publisher’s brochure, "Theodore Dreiser: America's Foremost Novelist," is indicative (inasmuch as the publisher felt able to make the claim) of Dreiser’s stature as a writer.
February 1915 -- Dreiser's play Laughing Gas is published in Smart Set.
29 March 1915 -- Dreiser’s nephew Carl Dresser (son of his sister Sylvia), occupation “Bellboy,” dies in Chicago at age 26, a suicide. Carl had been born out of wedlock and cared for by various Dreiser family members, including Dreiser. The cause of death was asphyxiation by illuminating gas, the same as with Hurstwood in Sister Carrie.
August 1915 -- Dreiser makes trip to Indiana in chauffeured car with a friend from his youth, the artist and illustrator Franklin Booth, in preparation for a book on his home state. Visits Warsaw, Terre Haute, Bloomington, Sullivan, Vincennes, Indianapolis, and Evansville, IN. The trip will result in the book A Hoosier Holiday.
1 October 1915 -- The “Genius” is published by John Lane Company. A frank autobiographical novel, it depicts the breakup of Dreiser’s marriage and his infidelities.
2 December 1915 -- An article in The Nation by University of Illinois professor Stuart P. Sherman, "The Naturalism of Mr. Dreiser," attacks Dreiser's disdain for conventional morality and his "crude and naively simple naturalistic philosophy" which lowers man to the animal level and "reduces the problem of the novelist to the lowest possible terms."
18 February 1916 -- Plays of the Natural and Supernatural published by John Lane Company.
April 1916 -- Sells story “The Lost Phoebe “to Century magazine for $200.
June 1916 -- “A June Wedding Breakfast,” by Mrs. Theodore Dreiser [Sara White Dreiser], an article providing advice on food preparation, is published by The Delineator.
July 1916 -- John Lane Company withdraws The “Genius” after obscenity charges are filed against it by John Sumner, newly appointed Secretary of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. The book had already sold 7,887 copies.
August 1916 -- The “Genius” is attacked by The Society for the Suppression of Vice, which calls it "unfit to read,” and, in conjunction with the Western Society for the Suppression of Vice, undertakes campaign to remove the book from circulation.
26 August 1916 -- "Editorial Notes" column in The New Republic urges book publishers to stand up to the censorious groups and defend their right to " print and circulate outspoken fiction," such as The "Genius."
fall 1916 -- spring 1917 -- Dreiser and J. Jefferson Jones, director of the American branch of John Lane Company, spar over whether cuts should be made in The “Genius.” Dreiser refuses. Jones refuses to risk prison by continuing book’s sale.
19 September 1916 -- A column in the New York Morning Telegraph, "Curiosity and Censorship," comments on the irony that the Society for the Suppression of Vice has brought popularity to The “Genius”. The book is withdrawn by John Lane.
1916 -- A Protest against the Suppression of Theodore Dreiser's The “Genius” is issued as a pamphlet by the Authors' League of America and endorsed by 130 writers.
October 1916 -- "Dreiser Protest" by Ezra Pound published in The Egotist, protesting against the suppression of The “Genius” as an attack on literary freedom.
1916 -- Dreiser ends relationship with Kirah Markham when, through Mencken, he meets Estelle Bloom Kubitz (the sister of Mencken’s lover Marion Bloom), who becomes Dreiser’s secretary and lover.
1916 - Begins lifelong friendship with Dorothy Dudley, a friend of the poet Edgar Lee Masters, who will later write a seminal book about Dreiser.
17 November 1916 -- A Hoosier Holiday published by John Lane Company.
7 December 1916 -- Dreiser's play Laughing Gas has premier in performance by the Indianapolis Little Theatre Society. It appears from newspaper articles (e.g., Duluth News-Tribune, January 7, 1917) that Laughing Gas was performed in other Midwestern cities.
1916 -- Completes play The Hand of the Potter, about a sexually driven murderer.
1917 -- Writes pro-German article, “American Idealism and German Frightfulness,” but fails to get it published.
1917 -- Meets Philadelphia resident Louise Campbell, who will become his lover, editor, literary advisor, and typist.
1917 -- An essay by Mencken, "Theodore Dreiser," in his A Book of Prefaces provides one of the first substantial and comprehensive assessments of Dreiser’s career.
1917 -- Theodore Dreiser: American’s Foremost Novelist, a 32-page advertising brochure, is published by John Lane Company. It includes poems and commentary praising Dreiser and a caricature of Dreiser by his friend Peter McCord (a colleague from St. Louis newspaper days) in the form a Japanese woodcut.
28 January 1917 -- Dreiser's play The Girl in the Coffin is performed by the St. Louis Artist's Guild.
May 1917 -- In an article in Seven Arts, Dreiser inveighs against puritanism and makes a plea for intellectual liberty in America.
July 1917 -- Dreiser's play The Dream is published in Seven Arts.
August 1917 -- An article by Mencken," The Dreiser Bugaboo," published in Seven Arts excoriates Dreiser’s critics in academe and the censors who achieved the suppression of The “Genius”.
9 October 1917 -- Dreiser’s play The Girl in the Coffin opens in St. Francisco in a performance by the St. Francis Little Theatre Club. It had been staged earlier by groups in St. Louis and San Francisco.
3 December 1917 -- The Girl in the Coffin opens in a performance by the Washington Square Players in Greenwich Village.
1918 -- Dreiser meets A. A. Brill, translator of Freud and founder of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and reads works of Freud.
1918 -- Dreiser begins association with publisher Horace Liveright.
30 January 1918 -- The Old Ragpicker (stage production based on a Dreiser novel) opens in a performance by the St. Francis Little Theatre Club in St. Francisco.
21 March 1918 -- The Girl in the Coffin opens in a performance by the Arts and Crafts Players in Detroit.
May 1918 -- Obscenity case against The “Genius” is dismissed on a technicality by New York appellate court.
30 May 1918 -- Dreiser’s sister Claire Dreiser Gormley dies of cancer in Schenectady, NY.
July 1918 -- - A suit brought by Dreiser is argued in the appellate division of the supreme court of the state of New York. The suit, a friendly one, was brought by Dreiser against publisher John Lane Company, which had withdrawn Dreiser’s The “Genius” from circulation because of threats of legal action against the book, on grounds of obscenity, by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.
16 August 1918 -- Free and Other Stories published by Boni & Liveright.
1919 -- Boni & Liveright puts Dreiser on their payroll, agreeing to a total $4,000 in advances, paid in installments of $333 per month, for The Bulwark, which will not be published until 1946. The firm hires T. R. Smith as an editor. This will prove significant later since Smith was adamant about making cuts in An American Tragedy. (If he had prevailed, the letters from Robert to Clyde would have been excised from the book.)
14 April 1919 -- Twelve Men published by Boni & Liveright.
11 May 1919 -- Dreiser is hit by a car while crossing New York City street. Suffers cuts in scalp and broken ribs.
June 1919 -- Makes trip to Indiana and visits his hometown, Terre Haute. Visits beloved former teacher Mae Calvert Baker and his friend from St. Louis newspaper days, John Milo Maxwell.
30 August 1919 -- "Hey, Rub-a-Dub-Dub," an essay by Dreiser which will become the lead essay in book of that title, is published in The Nation.
21 August 1919 -- A review of Dreiser’s Free and Other Stories by Virginia Woolf, entitled “A Real American,” is published in TLS. She accuses Dreiser of “sins of taste” while at the same time finding that ‘[h]e has genuine vitality.” She praises Twelve Men, which she finds to be “a much more interesting work than “Free.”
13 September 1919 -- Dreiser is visited unexpectedly at his Greenwich Village residence by 25 year old Helen (Patges) Richardson from Oregon, a distant relative. (She and Dreiser are first cousins once removed.) The two commence a torrid affair which will develop into a lifelong relationship, the most enduring of Dreiser’s many intimate relationships.
20 September 1919 -- The Hand of the Potter (play) is published by Boni & Liveright. It shows influence of Freudian ideas Dreiser had recently become acquainted with.
8 October 1919 -- Dreiser and Helen Richardson move to Los Angeles.
1920 -- Dreiser’s Neurotic America and the Sex Impulse; and, Some Aspects of Our National Character is published in the Little Blue Book series by Haldeman-Julius Co.
15 January 1920 -- Hey Rub-a-Dub-Dub: A Book of the Mystery and Wonder and Terror of Life, a book of philosophical essays and plays, is published by Boni & Liveright.
24 January 1920 -- The Girl in the Coffin opens at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York.
9 February 1920 -- The Girl in the Coffin opens at the Princess Theatre, New York in a production by the Workers' Theatre Guild.
April 1920 -- Dreiser and Helen Richardson move to Hollywood. Helen has minor roles as an extra and later gets supporting roles in The Flame of Youth and in Rudolph Valentino’s first film, The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.
1920 -- Learns from Boni & Liveright that Anna Tatum has threatened to sue if they publish Dreiser’s The Bulwark (a novel based on her family).
August 1920 -- Begins work on An American Tragedy.
20 October 1920 -- In a letter to Mencken, Dreiser notes that he has begun work on Literary Experiences, a planned volume in his autobiography, upon which, he says, he is working occasionally. Dreiser will abandon the project in the 1930’s.
13 November 1921 -- Dreiser is reported in the New York Times Book Review "to be now in Los Angeles, where he is working on two novels," one of them to be called The Bulwark.
5 December 1921 -- The Hand of the Potter opens in a production by the Provincetown Players in Greenwich Village.
1921-1922 -- "Hollywood: Its Morals and Manners," a series of articles by Dreiser in Shadowland, is critical of the film industry and the exploitation of actresses.
1922 -- Works on The Stoic (the final novel in the Cowperwood trilogy, not published until 1947), two new plays, film scenarios, short stories, and sketches of women.
October 1922 -- Dreiser moves to New York to continue to work on An American Tragedy.
15 December 1922 -- A Book About Myself is published by Boni & Liveright. It is later published under the title A History of Myself: Newspaper Days (Liveright, 1931).
1923 – The "Genius" is republished by Boni & Liveright.
1923 -- What appears to be the first translation of a Dreiser work, Douze Hommes (Twelve Men), is published in France.
spring 1923 -- Dreiser hires as a literary assistant and then quickly becomes romantically involved with Sally Kussell, an aspiring writer from Chicago. The relationship will cause friction between Dreiser and his other lovers, Helen Richardson and Estelle Kubitz. Kussell will provide editorial assistance to Dreiser on the first two books of An American Tragedy and several of the sketches that would be included in A Gallery of Women.
30 April 1923 -- Marriage: Short Stories of Married Life by American Writers is published by Doubleday, Page & Company, containing Dreiser's short story "Marriage --For One."
July 1923 -- Boni & Liveright announces that it has acquired the rights to all of Dreiser’s works. Dreiser works on the firm’s list total fourteen books, mostly fiction. The firm gives Dreiser a four-year contract that guarantees him $4,000 a year.
summer 1923 -- Dreiser and Helen Richardson travel to locales in central and upstate New York where the murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette (the "American Tragedy" case) occurred.
1 June 1923 -- Dreiser's play The Old Ragpicker opens in a production by the Cellar Players in New York.
July 1923 -- Publishing firm Boni & Liveright announce they have acquired right to all of Dreiser’s works.
September 1923 -- Boni & Liveright reissues The “Genius”.
6 December 1923 -- The Color of a Great City (sketches of New York City) is published by Boni & Liveright.
1925 -- Burton Rascoe’s Theodore Dreiser is published in the Modern American Writers series. It is comprised of critical and biographical material.
February 1925 -- An interview by Dreiser with baseball great Ty Cobb, "The Most Successful Ball-Player of Them All," is published in Hearst's International.
26 November 1925 -- Dreiser interviews condemned murder Anthony Pantano in the death house at Sing Prison. (Pantano's death sentence was eventually commuted.) Dreiser wished to observe death row for himself in writing prison scenes in An American Tragedy.
17 December 1925 -- An American Tragedy, Dreiser’s first and only best seller, is published by Boni & Liveright, in two volumes priced at five dollars, to good reviews (Dreiser had feared the opposite) and brisk sales. Over 13,000 copies are sold in December alone. The sale of film rights to the novel will give Dreiser a financial windfall and make him well off for the first time in his life. Dreiser leaves for Florida immediately after the novel’s publication for a trip to Florida with Helen.
circa 1926 -- Dreiser and Helen move to posh apartment at 200 West 57th Street in Manhattan.
1926 -- Amidst a chorus of praise, H. L. Mencken writes one of the few negative reviews of An American Tragedy, in the American Mercury. He calls the book a “shapeless and forbidding monster -- a heaping cartload of raw materials for a novel, with rubbish of all sorts intermixed -- a vast, sloppy, chaotic thing of 385,000 words -- at least 25,000 of them unnecessary!”
1926 -- Famous Players-Lasky film company (later named Paramount) purchases film rights to An American Tragedy.
1926 -- The first known thesis on Dreiser is published: Franklin, Pauline M. "American and English Criticism of Theodore Dreiser" (Master's thesis, University of Iowa).
1926 -- Japanese translation of Jennie Gerhardt published.
3 January 1926 -- Stuart Sherman’s review of An American Tragedy, "Mr. Dreiser in Tragic Realism," is published in New York Herald Tribune. Sherman, who had been one of Dreiser's harshest critics, highly praises the work in all respects, finding that Dreiser has made significant advances as a novelist since The “Genius”.
4 January 1926 -- Dreiser Interviews Pantano, a play-dramatization by Eleanor Oshatz and others, premiers at the Poet's Theatre in New York.
19 March 1926 -- At a luncheon meeting at the Ritz Hotel in New York of Dreiser, film producer Jesse L. Lasky, and publisher Horace Liveright, which had been arranged to discuss the sale of film rights to An American Tragedy, Dreiser throws a cup of lukewarm coffee in Liveright's face, in a dispute over what he and Liveright had agreed to with respect to Liveright’s share of the sum paid by Lasky’s Famous Players for the rights to the film, and storms out.
1926 -- Dreiser and Helen visit Florida, resulting in three articles by Dreiser entitled "This Florida Scene" in Vanity Fair that portray the state at a time when it was being transformed by an influx of developers and speculators.
22 June 1926 -- Travels to Europe with Helen; visits nine countries.
1 July 1926 -- A limited edition of Dreiser’s Moods: Cadenced and Declaimed (poetry) is published by Boni & Liveright.
August 1926 -- Visits Berlin, arranging for the translation of An American Tragedy into German. In Die Literrarische Welt, German poet and translator Hermann Georg Scheffauer praises Dreiser.
September 1926 -- While in Paris, Dreiser is interviewed by the Paris Tribune and by his translator Victor Llona for Les Nouvelles Littéraires (“Un Grand Ecrivain Americain Est à Paris,” issue of September 25).
September 1926 -- Newspaper stories indicate that Dreiser has been guilty of plagiarism in two notable instances: from Sherwood Anderson (in a Dreiser poem, The Beautiful” in Vanity Fair, in which Dreiser was alleged to have lifted sentences from Anderson’s story “Tandy”) and from George Ade (in an episode in Sister Carrie). The alleged plagiarism from Anderson was pointed out by columnist Franklin P. Adams in the New York World. Anderson, contacted by reporters, said he did not believe Dreiser would have plagiarized: “It is one of those accidents that occur. The thought expressed has come, I am sure, to a great many man. If Mr. Dreiser has expressed it beautifully, it is enough.” Ade responded to the allegations by saying that he would be proud to have Dreiser take material from him, “for he erects literary skyscrapers while we’re busy pounding out chicken coops of bungalows.”
September 1926 -- Newspapers report that An American Tragedy will be filmed within a few months and that Jack Pickford has been chosen to play Clyde Griffiths, with Ernst Lubisch named as a leading candidate to direct the film.
October 1926 -- Patrick Kearney’s dramatization of An American Tragedy premiers in New Haven, CT and then opens (October 11) at the Longacre Theater in New York, beginning a run of 216 performances.
1927 -- Another thesis on Dreiser published: Pratt, Laurence. "Some Implications of Philosophical Realism in the Novels of Theodore Dreiser" (Master’s thesis, University of Washington).
1927 -- Dreiser purchases country estate (Iroki) in Westchester County, NY.
1927 -- Russian translations of Sister Carrie, Jennie Gerhardt, The Color of a Great City, and Free and Other Stories published. A German translation of An American Tragedy by Marianne Schön is published by the Viennese firm Paul Zsolnay Verlag, which prints 22,000 copies in the first year of publication.
1927 -- The Songs of Paul Dresser with an introduction by his brother Theodore Dreiser published by Boni & Liveright.
February 1927 -- An American Tragedy (play) performed at the Wilkes Vine-Street Theater in Los Angeles.
3 February 1927 -- Interview, "Censor Coming to Stop Sex Wave, Says Dreiser," published in New Orleans Morning Tribune.
17 March 1927 -- Dreiser and his publisher Horace Liveright meet film producer Jesse Lasky and his assistant at the Ritz Hotel in Manhattan to negotiate the purchase of film rights to An American Tragedy. An argument ensues between Dreiser and Liveright over what, if anything, the publisher is owed. Lasky agrees to pay $90,000, of which $10,000 went to Liveright. The film studio, Lasky’s Famous Players (the company that later became Paramount), issues a press release stating that they had “given a guaranty to Mr. Dreiser that the book would be filmed exactly as it was written.”
April 1927 -- An American Tragedy (play) performed at the Wilkes' Theater in San Francisco.
11 April 1927 -- A judicial ruling sustains ban, on the grounds of obscenity, of the sale of An American Tragedy in Boston.
16 April 1927 -- A revised, shorter edition of The Financier is published by Boni & Liveright. The bulk of the revising is done by Dreiser’s editorial assistant Louise Campbell, who felt the novel as originally published needed pruning.
April 1927 -- Dreiser’s Chains: Lesser Novels and Stories is published by Boni & Liveright.
1927 -- An American Tragedy (play) performed at the Majestic Theater in Los Angeles.
19 October 1927 -- Dreiser sails on the Mauretania on the first leg of a journey to the USSR as a guest of the Soviet government upon the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. A three month trip in the USSR includes stays in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as travel to Nizhnii Novgorod, South Russia, Transcaucasia, and the Crimea in late 1927 and 1928, during which he keeps a diary that will be published posthumously.
December 1927 -- A New York book dealer buys a first edition of Sister Carrie at auction for $270.
1928 -- John Nelson, husband of Dreiser’s sister Emma, dies, according to a Dreiser family record in the Vigo County (IN) Public Library.
1928 -- Twelve Men is published by Random House in the Modern Library series.
1928 -- A Bibliography of the Writings of Theodore Dreiser by Edward D. McDonald with a foreword by Theodore Dreiser is published.
1928 - Notes to Add to a Bibliography of Theodore Dreiser by Vrest Orton is published. It lists errata in and addenda to the McDonald bibliography.
1928 -- Swedish translation of Sister Carrie by Teresia Eurén published. German translation of Jennie Gerhardt published. The Titan and The Financier are translated into German by Marianne Schön and Wilhelm Cremer and published together as Der Titan: Trilogie der Begierder. Zweite Roman: Der Titan, in three volumes. Dutch, Swedish, and Czech translations of An American Tragedy published. Danish translation of An American Tragedy by Tom Kristensen published. Russian translation of An American Tragedy by S. S. Dinamov and Z. A. Veršinina published.
3 January 1928 -- "Theodore Dreiser Finds Both Hope and Failure in Russian Soviet Drama," Chicago Daily News, 6 February 1928 (dispatch datelined Odessa, 3 January 1928). Shortly after publication of this interview, Dreiser leaves Soviet Union.
February 1928 -- Dreiser arrives in London and joins his "wife" (as Helen is referred to in press reports) there on return journey home Russia.
21 February 1928 -- Dreier returns home after with “Mrs. Dreiser” The New York Times) after an 11-week trip to Russia.
18-28 March 1928 -- a series of eleven articles by Dreiser about the Soviet Union, syndicated by the North American Newspaper Alliance, is published.
July 1928 -- Dreiser at Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, meeting with and befriending scientists such as the geneticist Calvin Bridges and seeking answers to quasi-scientific and philosophical questions.
30 July 1928 -- Moods: Cadenced and Declaimed is republished by Boni & Liveright, with 29 additional poems.
July 1928 -- Poli Players produce Patrick Kearney’s play An American Tragedy in Hartford, Connecticut.
September 1928 -- Dreiser, fancying himself a public intellectual and earnestly seeking answers to philosophical questions, publishes the first of several credos, contributing to a symposium entitled "Statements of Belief" in the September 1928 Bookman.
September 1928 -- The Hand of the Potter performed in Berlin in a German version of the play. The production opens at the Renaissance-Buhne Theatre in Berlin, Germany and later goes on tour.
1 November 1928 -- Dreiser Looks at Russia published by Horace Liveright.
December 1928 -- Passages are noted in Dreiser Looks at Russia which were plagiarized from the journalist Dorothy Thompson’s book The New Russia. Thompson (the wife of Sinclair Lewis) accuses Dreiser of plagiarism. Dreiser calls the allegations "bunk"; gives untenable explanation that it was actually he who had given material to Thompson.
1928-1929 -- Dreiser’s play The Hand of the Potter is performed in Berlin with poor attendance.
1929 -- Dreiserana: A Book About His Books by Vrest Orton, a brief bibliographical work, is published. It discusses the circumstances underlying the publication of Dreiser’s works and provides descriptive detail regarding the actual books. It also catalogues Dreiser’s manuscripts and early freelance writings and provides bibliographic information about the few critical works about Dreiser available at that time. In addition, it attempts to correct errors in the McDonald bibliography (1928).
1929 -- Dutch translation of Sister Carrie by Tom Kristensen published. German translation of Sister Carrie by Anna Nussbaum is published. Dutch translation of Jennie Gerhardt by Van Jan Vogelaar is published. Swedish translation of The Financier by Margaretha Odelbrg is published. German translation of The “Genius” by Marianne Schön is published. German translation of Dreiser Looks at Russia by Richard Hoffmann is published under the title Sowjet-Russland. Chinese translation of Free and Other Stories is published (Shanghai). Chinese translation of Dreiser Looks at Russia is published (Shanghai).
1929 -- Three more master's theses on Dreiser published: Maud Layton Beal," Some Implications of Philosophic Determinism in the Works of Theodore Dreiser" (University of Washington, 1929); Kathryn DeEsta Sayre, “The Themes of Dreiser" (Columbia University, 1929); DeWitt Clinton Spague, "Some Picaresque Elements in the Novels of Theodore Dreiser" (University of Iowa, 1929).
March 1929 -- In The Forum, Dreiser challenges G. K. Chesterton to a boxing match. Chesterton had printed an attack on Dreiser in the February issue.
18 April 1929 -- In a test case, Boni & Liveright vice president Donald Friede is found guilty by a Massachusetts court of selling a book tending to corrupt the morals of youth, Dreiser's An American Tragedy. The decision makes it illegal to sell the book in Massachusetts, but it remains in distribution elsewhere in the United States. Friede, who was represented by attorneys Clarence Darrow and Arthur Garfield Hayes, will be fined $100.
November 1929 -- Dreiser’s statement "What I Believe" is published in Forum.
30 November 1929 -- A Gallery of Women published by Horace Liveright.
16 December 1929 -- My City, by Theodore Dreiser with etchings by Max Pollak, comprised of poetry and prose previously published in the New York Herald-Tribune, is published in a limited edition by Horace Liveright.
1930 -- Swedish translations of Jennie Gerhardt and The Titan published. Spanish translation of The Financier by Manuel Pumarega published (Madrid). Italian translation of An American Tragedy by Noemi Carelli published. Hungarian translation of An American Tragedy by Klára Szőllősy published. Polish translation of An American Tragedy by Józefa Zydlerowa published. Latvian translation of An American Tragedy published. German translation of A Gallery of Women by Marianne Schön is published. French translation of The Color of a Great City by Pierre Jeanneret is published.
23 January 1930 -- Dreiser's article "Divorce as I See It" is published in the London Daily Express. Reprinted in Divorce as I See It (London Douglas, 1930) as "Modern Marriage Is a Farce."
April 1930 -- Dreiser Visits El Paso, TX on tour of Southwest. In an interview with the El Paso Evening Post, he attacks religion, saying it is a "total loss" in America. His remarks create national outrage.
May 1930 -- Dreiser visits imprisoned labor activist Tom Mooney in San Quentin prison.
20 May 1930 -- Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein arrives in Hollywood, having been lured by a $100,000 contract offer by Jesse L. Lasky, the president of Paramount Pictures. Eisenstein’s first assignment for Paramount was to produce a long-awaited screen version of Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.
24 May 1930 -- Dreiser’s Epitaph a Poem is published by Herron Press in a limited edition. The poem will also appear in Dreiser's Moods: Philosophic and Emotional; Cadenced and Declaimed (1935).
4 June 1930 -- A production of Dreiser’s play The Blue Sphere is broadcast over radio station WABC in New York. Producer: Columbia Network.
October 1930 -- Because of numerous disagreements over casting and approach, Sergei Eisenstein and Paramount part ways, and Eisenstein’s production of An American Tragedy, for which a scenario had been written, does not become a reality. The Austrian director Josef von Sternberg is given the assignment to produce the film, and a new script is written by Samuel Hoffenstein. When Dreiser reads the script, he is appalled. He flies to Hollywood immediately to voice his outrage.
12 December 1930 -- The Nobel Prize is awarded to Sinclair Lewis. Dreiser and Lewis had been considered the two main contenders for the award. Lewis praises Dreiser in his acceptance speech. "Dreiser more than any other man ... has cleared the trail from Victorian and Howellsian timidity and gentility in American fiction to honesty and boldness and passion of life." A few months later, Dreiser would become involved in a contretemps with Lewis. (See March 19, 1931.)
16 December 1930 -- Sherwood Anderson is quoted in the Atlanta Constitution as saying he thinks Dreiser should have received the Nobel Prize for literature.
1931 -- Czech translation of Sister Carrie by Karel Kraus published. Dutch translation of Sister Carrie, translated by Willy Corsari published. Italian translation of Sister Carrie by Mariquita Pizzotti published under the title Il Camino di una Donna. Danish translation of Jennie Gerhardt by Tom Kristensen published. Czech and Latvian translations of Jennie Gerhardt published. Chapters from Dreiser Looks at Russia published in Yiddish translation (Warsaw, Poland, 1931).
January 1931 -- Boni & Liveright sales figures show that the trade edition of an An American
Tragedy has sold 76,000 copies.
28 January 1931 -- Dreiser's leftist leanings and views become more pronounced. His article "Prosperity for Only One Percent of the People" is published in the Daily Worker.
February 1931 -- Play An American Tragedy (Patrick Kearney dramatization) revived at Waldorf Theatre in New York.
24 February. 1931 -- How the Great Corporations Rule the United States, by Theodore Dreiser, edited by B. Haldeman-Julius, is published as Little Blue Book No. 1590.
12 March 1931 -- In an article in The Colophon, "The Early Adventures of