The best American writers have come from the hinterlands -- Mark Twain, Theodore Dreiser, Jack London, Hemingway, Faulkner, Wolfe, Steinbeck. Most of them never even went to college.

— Edward Abbey

Most Powerful Dreiser quotations

Yes, but another writer I read in high school who just knocked me out was Theodore Dreiser. I read An American Tragedy all in one weekend and couldn't put it down - I locked myself in my room. Now that was antithetical to every other book I was reading at the time because Dreiser really had no style, but it was powerful.

Dreiser... I love... and almost wouldn't speak to anyone who ever attacked him.

There wasn't much said, but I was thinking, perhaps unkindly - not unkindly,but on - inaccurately of Theodore Dreiser's "Carrie," when the main character in "Carrie" has been brought down by Carrie and his - he - dress is disheveled and all that sort of thing. And that's the last I ever saw of [Will Shawn].

I don't think people believe that any more, I don't think people think that it really matters whether you appreciate Henry James more than Theodore Dreiser.

Such is the art of writing as Dreiser understands it and practices it--an endless piling up of minutiae, an almost ferocious tracking down of ions, electrons and molecules, an unshakable determination to tell it all. One is amazed by the mole-like diligence of the man, and no less by his exasperating disregard for the ease of his readers.

Every reader of the Dreiser novels must cherish astounding specimens--of awkward, platitudinous marginalia, of whole scenes spoiled by bad writing, of phrases as brackish as so many lumps of sodium hyposulphite.

It was the ponderous battering ram of his novels that opened the way through the genteel reticences of American nineteenth-century fiction. . . Without [Theodore] Dreiser's treading out a path for naturalism none of us would have had a chance to publish.

What writes worse than a Theodore Dreiser? ... Two Theodore Dreisers.

Dreiser wanted to write the next great American novel, and his desperation pervades [ Sister Carrie ] like an unsavory pit stain.

Theodore Dreiser Should ought to write nicer.

It seems to me that you are better off, as a writer and as an American, in a small town than you'd be in New York. I thoroughly detest New York, though I have to go there very often.... Have you ever noticed that no American writer of any consequence lives in Manhattan? Dreiser tried it (after many years in the Bronx), but finally moved to California.