Dawn, the journalist turned novelist Theodore Dreiser's brutally
candid autobiography of his first nineteen years (1871-1890), was
composed between 1912 and 1915, but withheld by Dreiser due to his
misgivings about the potential impact of its frank revelations of
adolescent sexuality, daring even by today's standards. On its
eventual publication in 1931, critics recognized the book as an
American classic, comparing it to Rousseau's Confessions and The
Education of Henry Adams. The new Black Sparrow edition, with
notes, index, and appendices, makes available Dreiser's powerful
account of a difficult childhood spent struggling to rise out of
impoverished and sordid surroundings.
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