In his stories and in such landmark novels as `Sister Carrie` and `An American Tragedy`, Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) defied literary propriety and broke new ground in American fiction by focusing on life as it is, rather than as it ought to be. Sherwood Anderson, introducing a collection of Dreiser stories, said of him: `If there is a modern movement in American prose writing, a movement toward greater courage and fidelity to life in writing, then Theodore Dreiser is the pioneer and the hero of the movement`. Indeed, his bold example paved the way for a new generation of American writers.
The five superb stories in this volume vividly attest to the sincerity and depth of Dreiser`s gifts as a powerful and original storyteller. They are `Free`, the story of a man trying, as his wife lies dying, to understand why he never found happiness in marriage; `The Second Choice` and `Married`, two insightful tales of the complex relationships of men and women; `Nigger Jeff`, a powerful, disturbing story of a lynching; and `The Lost Phoebe`, a poignant tale of a man`s search for a lost life partner.