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Nathanael West
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Author
    (October 17, 1903-December 22, 1940)
    Birth name was Nathan Wallenstein Weinstein
    Wrote ‘The Dream Life of Balso Snell (1931),’ ‘Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)’ and ‘The Day of the Locust (1939)’
    He was a lazy child and a terrible student.
    He dropped out of high school and forged a transcript to get into a university.
    He plagiarized papers in college.
    He changed his name from Weinstein to ‘West’ to hide his ethnicity.
    His careless driving led to an accident that killed both him and his wife.
    Although Jewish, he actually looked a bit like Hitler.
    He managed a hotel, and would often let writers stay for free.
    For a newspaper job, he had to pretend to be a female advice columnist.
    He turned this experience into a novel, ‘Miss Lonelyhearts.’
    His books were scathingly satirical.
    He mocked American selfishness and materialism.
    He died at 37, as his career was taking off.
    ‘The Day of the Locust’ has been called ‘a depression-era Pulp Fiction,’ and ‘the best novel ever written about Hollywood.’
    The book features a character named ‘Homer Simpson.’

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro


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