An American novelist, during the Progressive Era, writing predominantly in the naturalist genre. His notable works include McTeague (1899), The Octopus: A Story of California (1901), and The Pit (1903).
The Octopus : A Story of California
McTeague: A Story of San Francisco
The Third Circle
A Man's Woman
The Pit: A Story of Chicago
A Deal in Wheat and Other Stories of the New and Old West
Vandover and the Brute
Moran of the Lady Letty
The Surrender of Santiago
A Man's Woman-
A story which has for a heroine a girl decidedly out of the ordinary run of fiction. It is most dramatic, containing some tremendous pictures of the daring of the men who are trying to reach the Pole * * * but it is at the same time essentially a woman's book, and the story works itself out in the solution of a difficulty that is continually presented in real life--the wife's attitude in relation to her husband when both have well-defined careers.
"Since Bret Harte and the Forty-niner no one has written of California life with the vigor and accuracy of Mr. Norris. His 'McTeague' settled his right to a place in American literature; and he has now presented a third novel, 'Blix,' which is in some respects the finest and likely to be the most popular of the three."--Washington Times. (Made into the film Greed by Erich von Stroheim in 1924.)
Mr. Norris conceived the ambitious idea of writing a trilogy of novels which, taken together, shall symbolize American life as a whole, with all its hopes and aspirations and its tendencies, throughout the length and breadth of the continent. And for the central symbol he has taken wheat, as being quite literally the ultimate source of American power and prosperity. The Octopus is a story of wheat raising and railroad greed in California. It immediately made a place for itself.It is full of enthusiasm and poetry and conscious strength. One cannot read it without a responsive thrill of sympathy for the earnestness, the breadth of purpose, the verbal power of the man.
This powerful novel is the fictitious narrative of a deal in the Chicago wheat pit and holds the reader from the beginning. In a masterly way the author has grasped the essential spirit of the great city by the lakes. The social existence, the gambling in stocks and produce, the characteristic life in Chicago, form a background for an exceedingly vigorous and human tale of modern life and love.