Nathanael West (October 17, 1903 - December 22, 1940)
Born: 17th October, 1903
Died: 22nd December, 1940
Nationality: American novelist
Region: New York City, New York, near El Centro, California
Notable works: "The Day of the Locust", "Miss Lonelyhearts", "A Cool Million", "The Dream Life of Balso Snell"

Nathanael West Facts

Biography

Nathanael West, original name Nathan Weinstein, (born Oct. 17, 1903, New York, N.Y., U.S.--died Dec. 22, 1940, near El Centro, Calif.), American writer best known for satiric novels of the 1930s.

Of middle-class Jewish immigrant parentage, he attended high school in New York City and graduated from Brown University in 1924. During a 15-month stay in Paris, he completed his first novel, The Dream Life of Balso Snell, which told the story of an odd assortment of grotesque characters inside the Trojan horse. It was published in 1931 in an edition of only 500 copies.

After his return to New York, West supported himself by working as a hotel manager, giving free or low-rent rooms to such struggling fellow writers as Dashiell Hammett, James T. Farrell, and Erskine Caldwell. His second novel, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933), deals with a lovelorn columnist whose manipulative attempts to solace his correspondents end in ironic defeat.

In A Cool Million (1934), West effectively mocks the American success dream popularized by Horatio Alger by portraying a hero who slides from bad to worse while doing the supposedly right thing. In his last years West worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. The Day of the Locust (1939) is, in the opinion of many, the best novel written about Hollywood. It dramatizes the false world and people on the fringes of the movie industry.

West was killed in an automobile accident with his wife, Eileen McKenney, the heroine of My Sister Eileen (1938), a popular book, play, and film by Ruth McKenney. Never widely read during his lifetime, West attracted attention after World War II, at first in France, where a successful translation of Miss Lonelyhearts appeared in 1946. Publication in 1957 of The Complete Works of Nathanael West sparked new interest in West's work in the United States.

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The Book The Day ON THE Locust English Books Essay
The book YOUR DAY of the Locust by Nathanael Western world, tells the storyplot of some people who came to California searching for the American Wish. They travel western world hoping to move away from the less than perfect lives and pursue success in Hollywood. The heroes in this novel dream of a life of luxury, making a lot of money, and living a good life. They eventually come to the realization that the glamorous life that California represents is much less easy to attain as they once thought. The personas develop discontented and disappointed with their lives and bitter to the world, which instigates..
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