Howard (Melvin) Fast 1914–
(Also wrote under pseudonym E. V. Cunningham) American novelist, short story writer, playwright, and scriptwriter.
Fast's historical novels often offer a fresh and individualistic perspective on American history, and his early works especially were popular with critics and readers. Fast's writing was later influenced by his association with the Communist Party and his stories were weakened by propagandism. In the early 1950s Fast was blacklisted for his Communist activities but eventually broke with the Party, detailing his feelings in The Naked God.
Fast's best writing vividly portrays scenes and action in an uncluttered style, although his material is sometimes marred by sentimentality. His recent best-selling series of historical novels, beginning with The Immigrants, features the Lavette family amid this century's national and international crises.
(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 1-4, rev. ed.; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vol. 3; Something about the Author, Vol. 7; and Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 9.)