Dahlberg, Edward

Dahlberg, Edward

(däl`bərg), 1900–1977, American novelist, critic, and essayist, b. Boston, grad. Columbia, 1925. The illegitimate son of an itinerant hairdresser, he spent much of his childhood in Kansas City. His childhood experiences were recreated in his first novel, Bottom Dogs (1930). Dahlberg lived mostly in Europe. His works include the novels Those Who Perish (1934) and The Olive of Minerva (1976); mystical literary criticism such as Do These Bones Live? (1941); studies of ancient societies such as The Carnal Myth (1968).

Bibliography

See his autobiographical Because I Was Flesh (1964) and The Confessions of Edward Dahlberg (1971); study by H. Billings, ed. (1968).

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Dahlberg, Edward

(1900–77) writer; born in Boston, Mass. Illegitimate son of a woman barber, he was sent to an orphanage in Cleveland, Ohio, as a boy, but he ran away. After studying at the University of California and Columbia University, he joined the expatriate community in Paris in the 1920s. He wrote pioneering proletarian novels in the 1930s (Bottom Dogs, 1929; From Flushing to Calvary, 1932), then faded from notice, reemerging in the 1960s as a prolific writer of bitter social and literary criticism, verse, and a highly regarded autobiography, Because I Was Flesh (1964). He taught at the University of Missouri: Kansas City (1964–77).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.