Underappreciated: William Dean Howells’ A Hazard of New Fortunes

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For our latest Underappreciated segment, Phillip Lopate discusses William Dean Howells’ 1890 novel A Hazard of New Fortunes, set in New York City in the late 19th century. The novel describes political tensions, social inequality, and urban landscapes all of which are still visible in present day New York, if slightly transformed. The novel follows Basil March and his family as they adjust after a move from Boston, and as he co-founds a magazine named “Every Other Week.”


Phillip Lopate

Comments [7]

Jennifer W from Brooklyn

Very much enjoyed this segment today - as much for the wonderful rapport of the Lopate brothers as for the insightful discussion of one of my favorite books.

Aug. 17 2011 09:00 PM
Louise Mowder from North Brunswick NJ

Howells is one of my absolutely favorite authors - one of the greatest America has produced. Thank you, Philip Lopate, for bringing him back to the attention of modern readers. Howells' writing is a pure pleasure to read, and his novels are some of the most insightful studies of humanity ever put on paper.

For a really memorable treat, read his slice of Americana, "The Leatherwood God." It's based on a true story, an event that actually occurred int frontier Ohio. We have forgotten so much of our history, and of the people who created our nation. Reading Howells brings it all to life. Thank you for helping to develop a greater appreciation for this absolutely brilliant self-made author.

Aug. 17 2011 06:56 PM

This is a delightful segment. Must have always been a fun invitation to family dinner at the Lopates.

Aug. 17 2011 12:58 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

The brothers Lopate do not have different accents; they have different voices. Not the same thing!

Aug. 17 2011 12:53 PM
Dan Kulkosky from NYC

Why do you guys have different accents?

Aug. 17 2011 12:52 PM
john from office

NYC is differrent from Boston because we have a powerful Jewish community and Boston has a powerfule Irish Community. The Jews are more open to other groups the Irish were not.

Aug. 17 2011 12:50 PM
Judith from Manhattan

I love this book, and am really looking forward to the discussion!

Aug. 17 2011 01:10 AM

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