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Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust

by Nathanael West

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West, a parodist with rancid genius, achieved his masterwork in Miss Lonelyhearts

—Harold Bloom

Two great works of American literature in one volume, reissued here with a new introduction by Jonathan Lethem

Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust

Fiction by Nathanael West

with a contribution by Jonathan Lethem

Miss Lonelyhearts — compared by Flannery O’Connor to Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying — is about a newspaper reporter assigned to write the agony column, but, caught up in a vision of suffering, he seeks a way out (through art, sex, religion), only to be rebuffed at every turn by his cynical editor Shrike. The Day of the Locust — considered by many to be the best novel ever written about Hollywood — is about Tod Hackett, who hopes for a career in set design only to discover the boredom and emptiness of Hollywood’s inhabitants. In the end, only blood will serve. The day of the locust is at hand...

published June 1st, 2009