Theodore Dreiser is a famous American writer and publicist. He was born in 1871 in the state of Indiana. He was the 12th child in the family. His mother came from the family of Czech immigrants and his father came to America from Germany and was a factory worker. Since his early childhood the boy knew what poverty was. In 1887 he moved to Chicago where he worked in restaurants washing dishes and cleaning. For a short period of time he studied at the University of Indiana. Working at the newspaper “Chicago Daily Globe” he started to publish his first sketches and stories.
His first novel “Sister Carrie” is a story about real life. One of his elder sisters, Emma, was the main character of the novel. The story about the girl, who became an actress at a high price of losing her best human qualities was considered to be immoral by critics. The feature of American literature that struck Dreiser most of all was the contradiction between the real life and the life described in literary works. That is why Dreiser’s works always depicted the life of common people, the cruelty of their existence in American society. His novel “An American Tragedy” was the sign of critical realism in the American literature of the 20th century. In his three novels “The Financier”, “The Titan”, and “The Stoic” Dreiser described the life of financier Cauperwood. He is not only a cruel American businessman, a person without “soul and heart”, but a very tragic figure. Having an extraordinary personality, he can’t fully realize himself in American society. His love of arts, his unusual talent stay deep inside him.
In 1928 Dreiser came to Russia, as he was always interested in the country and especially its literature. The works of Tolstoy and Dostoyevskyi influenced his creative work. Till nowadays Dreiser remains the largest master of realistic American literature of the 20th century.