Alvah Bessie Gabriel Miller - Essay

Gabriel Miller

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although [Bessie's first novel, Dwell in the Wilderness], abundantly fulfilled his early promise and won substantial critical praise, it sold poorly. It certainly was not a fashionable novel for its time; perhaps its lack of (radical) political rhetoric sufficient to the Depression years contributed to its quick demise. It is, however, a masterpiece, a novel that transcends its time and one that deserves reconsideration today. Dwell in the Wilderness introduces what would become Bessie's primary fictional subject: human isolation and the resultant painful loneliness. Probing the life of an American family—here not employed merely as a device for chronicling a variety of adventures, but as the thematic...

(The entire section is 1182 words.)