Edgar Doctorow

Edgar Doctorow

American novelist
Date of Birth: 06.01.1931
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Edgar Doctorow
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Writing Career

Biography of Edgar Doctorow

Edgar Doctorow was an American novelist who explored the relationship between literature and history in his works. His novel Ragtime, which featured famous historical figures such as illusionist Harry Houdini, anarchist Emma Goldman, Theodore Dreiser, industrialist Henry Ford, and banker J.P. Morgan, presented a broad panorama of America at the turn of the century.

Early Life and Education

Edgar Doctorow was born on January 6, 1931, in the Bronx, New York. His formative years, during the period following the Great Depression of 1929-1930, known as the "Great Depression," were shaped by the needs and hopes generated by Franklin D. Roosevelt's liberal "New Deal." These experiences became the content of Doctorow's novel World's Fair, published in 1985.

Doctorow attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and later spent a year in the graduate program at Columbia University. From 1953 to 1955, he served in the military.

Writing Career

Doctorow wrote his first two novels, Welcome to Hard Times (1960) and Big as Life (1966), while working as a script reader for Columbia Pictures and as an editor for the New American Library and Dial Press publishing houses.

In 1971, he published The Book of Daniel, which was based on the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were accused of espionage and passing military secrets to the Soviet Union and executed in 1953. Ragtime (1975) and World's Fair received the National Book Award.

Doctorow also authored Loon Lake (1980), a book about the life of a resourceful drifter during the economic crisis; Lives of the Poets (1984), a collection of six short stories and a novella; Billy Bathgate (1989), a story about a street urchin from the Bronx who becomes an apprentice to gangster Dutch Schultz in the 1930s; and The Waterworks (1994), a tale of criminal exploitation of science in New York City in 1871, narrated by a newspaper editor.