Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981

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Nelson Algren, born in 1909 in Detroit, spent the majority of his adult life in Chicago. His love/hate relationship with the city and his affinity with the disenfranchised of society are reflected in such works as Neon Wilderness, The Man with the Golden Arm, for which he won the National Book Award in 1950, and Chicago: City on the Make. The caustic tone, and cynical nature of Algren did not often make him a favorite of the critics or "literary establishment" of Chicago. The antagonism between Algren and the city establishment eventually turned him bitter toward Chicago, and led to his departure for New Jersey in 1975.

From the description of The Nelson Algren collection, 1933-1999. (Chicago Public Library). WorldCat record id: 70214753

American author.

From the description of TM (copy). (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 173274660

From the description of Letters to William Targ [manuscript], 1943-1961. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647816324

Chicago writer.

From the description of Nelson Algren short stories and postcard, 1949-1972. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 184987059

Chicago writer.

Born Nelson Algren Abraham in Detroit in 1909, Algren grew up in Chicago, where he lived in the blue-collar neighborhoods of the city. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1931, he began drifting around the country working at whatever jobs he could find until he made the decision to become a writer. During World War II Algren served in the military as a private, and after demobilization in 1945, settled in various poor neighborhoods of Chicago, spending his time reading and writing short stories. His novel of 1949, The Man With the Golden Arm, was his biggest success, winning the National Book Award and becoming a movie. Nine years later, his second novel to be filmed was A Walk on the Wild Side. Algren's body of work, based as it is on much of the seamy side of life, is in the tradition of American social realism, so that he has been described as the poet of the underworld. Algren moved from Chicago to Paterson, New Jersey, in 1975. He died of a heart attack in 1981.

From the description of Nelson Algren papers, 1960-1975. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 396148641

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Richard Wright papers, 1927-1978 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Conroy, Jack, 1898-1990. Jack Conroy papers, 1924-1991. Newberry Library
creatorOf Mitgang, Herbert. Herbert Mitgang collection of papers, 1967-1975. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf WBBM (Radio station : Chicago, Ill.). WBBM Radio miscellaneous scripts and editorials, 1947, 1975, 1982-1983. Chicago History Museum
referencedIn Burack, A. S. (Abraham Saul), 1908-. Abraham Burack collection, 1922-1997. Boston University. School of Medicine
referencedIn Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. records, 1899-2003, 1945-1989 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, 1880-1986, bulk, 1935-1977. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Farallon Island Publishing Co. Farallon Island Publishing Co. records, 1960-1977. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Arna Bontemps Papers, 1927-1968 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Nelson Algren short stories and postcard, 1949-1972. Newberry Library
referencedIn Popadić, Mirko,. Studs on a soapbox raw, [videorecording], 2000 Oct. 25. Media Burn Independent Video Archive
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Nelson Algren papers, 1960-1975. Newberry Library
referencedIn Spiegel, Clara Gatzert, 1904-1997. Clara G. Spiegel-Ernest Hemingway Family papers, 1939-1988. Newberry Library
creatorOf Newberry Library. Special Collections Section. Modern Manuscripts Collection correspondence, 1945-1969. Newberry Library
creatorOf Crowell-Collier Publishing Company. Crowell-Collier Publishing Company records, 1931-1955. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Deutch, Stephen. Stephen Deutch papers, ca. 1981-1997. Chicago History Museum
referencedIn Harmon, Lily, 1912-. Lily Harmon papers, 1930-1996. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Papers, [ca.1930-1979]. State Library of Ohio
referencedIn Crowell-Collier Publishing Company records, 1931-1955 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Salomon and Morris : two patriots of the Revolution : typescript [between 1936 and 1942?]. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Conroy, Jack, 1899-. Papers, 1947-1981. Southern Illinois University, Morris Library
creatorOf Hills, L. Rust. Letter : Esquire, 488 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. to Candida Donadio, Herb Jaffe Associates, 141 E. 55 St., New York, N.Y., 1959 Sept. 25. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
creatorOf Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008. Studs Terkel with Nelson Algren, [videorecording], 1975. Media Burn Independent Video Archive
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Letter : 1958 W. Evergreen, Chicago, Ill., to Barbara Turner, Sausalito, Calif., 1960 Oct. 2. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Vogel, Joseph. Jack Conroy day : Moberly, Missouri, 1984 May 22. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Vanguard Press Records, ca.1925-ca.1985 Columbia University, Rare Book and Manuscripts Library,
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. [Periodical contributions by and about Nelson Algren] Indiana University
referencedIn Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008,. Studs Terkel interview, [videorecording], 1990s. Media Burn Independent Video Archive
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. [Nelson Algren manuscript, published article, and two photographs], [1975?] Newberry Library
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. The Nelson Algren collection, 1933-1999. Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Papers, 1920-1983. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989. Malcolm Cowley papers, 1911-1990. Newberry Library
referencedIn Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008. Nelson Algren : an appreciation : typescript, 1973 / [Studs Terkel]. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Black, Timuel D. A celebration of the life of Studs Terkel, [videorecording], 2009 Jan. 30. Media Burn Independent Video Archive
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Letters to William Targ [manuscript], 1943-1961. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Esquire, Inc. Records, 1933-1977 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Manuscript (periodical) Records, 1933-1937 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Wright, Richard, 1908-1960. Richard Wright papers, 1927-1978. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Genet, Jean, 1910-1986. Our lady of the flowers, 1973. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Granville Hicks Papers, 1906-1980 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Brookhouser, Frank, 1912-1975. Papers, 1929-1975. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Letters, 1972-1974. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn United States. Work Projects Administration. United States Work Projects Administration records, 1524-1975 (bulk 1935-1942). Library of Congress
creatorOf Wolf, Tommy, 1925-1979. House of a hundred grassfires : a musical based on the novel "A walk on the wild side"/ by Nelson Algren ; book by Nelson Algren, David Peltz & Jim Sagebiel ; lyrics by Nelson Algren ; music by Tommy Wolf. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Chinatown : a novel of suspense / by Nelson Algren. Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center
referencedIn Drew, Bettina, 1956-. Nelson Algren archive of Bettina Drew, ca. 1933-1989. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Albert Halper papers, 1909-1984, 1933-1982 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Herbert Mitgang collection of papers, 1950-1986 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. records, 1899-2003 (bulk 1945-1989). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Engle, Paul, 1908-1991. Paul Engle papers, 1930-1991. Coe College, Stewart Memorial Library
creatorOf Ciardi, John, 1916-1986. Letter, ca. 1954, Bound Brook, New York, to Nelson [Algren?] [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn John Tebbel Papers, 1936-1985 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Bettina Drew Papers on Nelson Algren, 1890s-1989 Ohio State University. Libraries. Rare Books and Manuscripts Library.
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Bracker, Jon, 1936-. Letters, 1965-1970. Indiana University
creatorOf Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, 1888-1986. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Halper, Albert, 1904-1984. Albert Halper papers, 1909-1984, bulk (1933-1982). New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. Thanks for asking my opinion : [typescript] ... / Nelson Algren, [between 1966 and 1967]. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Carolina Symposium. Records of the Carolina Symposium, 1927- 1986. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Vanguard Press. Vanguard Press Records, ca. 1925-ca. 1985. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981. TM (copy). Cornell University Library
referencedIn United States Work Projects Administration Records, 1524-1975, (bulk 1935-1942) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977. person
associatedWith Beauvoir, Simone de, 1908-1986. person
associatedWith Bontemps, Arna, 1902-1973 person
associatedWith Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992. person
associatedWith Bracker, Jon, 1936- person
associatedWith Bradley, Van Allen, 1913-1984. person
associatedWith Brookhouser, Frank, 1912-1975. person
correspondedWith Burack, A. S. (Abraham Saul), 1908- person
associatedWith Carolina Symposium. corporateBody
associatedWith Ciardi, John, 1916-1986. person
associatedWith Conroy, Jack, 1899- person
associatedWith Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989. person
associatedWith Crowell-Collier Publishing Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Deutch, Stephen. person
associatedWith Donadio and Associates. corporateBody
associatedWith Drew, Bettina, 1956- person
associatedWith Engle, Paul, 1908-1991. person
associatedWith Esquire, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Farallon Island Publishing Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. corporateBody
associatedWith Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979. person
associatedWith Geismar, Maxwell David, 1909- person
associatedWith Gellhorn, Martha, 1908- person
associatedWith Genet, Jean, 1910-1986. person
associatedWith Gobeil-Trudeau, Madeleine. person
associatedWith Halper, Albert, 1904-1984. person
associatedWith Harmon, Lily, 1912- person
associatedWith Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. person
associatedWith Hicks, Granville, 1901-1982 person
correspondedWith Hills, L. Rust. person
associatedWith Ingersoll and Brennan. corporateBody
associatedWith Kogan, Herman. person
associatedWith Manuscript (Athens, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith McCollum Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith McCollum Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith McCollum, Kenneth G. person
associatedWith Midwest Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Midwest Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Miller, Nolan, 1907-2006. person
associatedWith Mitgang, Herbert person
associatedWith Mitgang, Herbert. person
associatedWith Newberry Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Newberry Library. Special Collections Section. corporateBody
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967. person
associatedWith Saroyan, William, 1908-1981. person
associatedWith Spiegel, Clara Gatzert, 1904-1997. person
associatedWith Targ, William, 1907- person
associatedWith Tebbel, John William, 1912- person
associatedWith Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008. person
associatedWith United States. Work Projects Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith Vanguard Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Vogel, Joseph. person
associatedWith WBBM (Radio station : Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Weissner, Carl. person
associatedWith Wells, Joel. person
associatedWith Wolf, Tommy, 1925-1979. person
associatedWith Wright, Richard, 1908-1960. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Chicago (Ill.)
Illinois--Chicago
United States
Illinois--Chicago
Subject
Manuscripts, American
Short stories, American--20th century
American literature
Bohemianism
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
Authors, American--20th century
Neo--Nazism
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1909-03-28

Death 1981-05-09

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6kp81vn

SNAC ID: 3653126