by Booth Tarkington

The Midlander was published in 1923 as the third novel in Booth Tarkington’s “Growth” trilogy that also includes The Turmoil and The Magnificent Ambersons. In 1927 the title was changed to National Avenue. It is the story of a family at the top of the socioeconomic heap in a Midwestern market town that is about to grow into an industrial city. The titular Midlander is Dan Oliphant, who possesses some prescience about the coming growth of the city, and a boundless optimism which leads him into various troubles. The novel tells the story of his life through a series of vignettes. The novel seems to me to be partly about the various members of his family and how they react to Dan and to the changes that sweep up the town and everyone in it, and partly a reflection on the question of what is worth doing with one’s life. (Summary by Zach Hoyt)

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Booth Tarkington

United States

Newton Booth Tarkington was an American novelist and dramatist best known for his novels The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) and Alice Adams (1921). He is one of only four novelists to win the Pulitzer P...

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