Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930, the first American novelist to be so honored. Born in Minnesota, he attended Yale University but left before graduation to work in Upton Sinclair's socialist colony at Helicon Hall in Englewood, New Jersey. Unable to make a living as a freelance writer, he returned to Yale and earned his degree. In 1914, he published his first novel, Our Mr. Wrenn: The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man. But it was not until his sixth novel, Main Street, that he won recognition as an important American novelist. His other major works include Babbitt, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth, and It Can't Happen Here, which he also wrote as a play. Lewis was a prolific writer, publishing dozens of books and innumerable articles throughout his career.
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