Wright Marion Morris was one of the most productive artists of his time, creating novels, stories, essays, criticism, and photographs that examine what it meant to be an American. Morris was born to William Henry and Grace Osborn Morris. His mother died six days after his birth, and Morris alternated between living with his father and with various relatives and friends. Will Morris went from one enterprise to another as he and his son moved from rural Nebraska to Omaha to Chicago. After briefly attending the City College of Chicago and Pacific Union College, Morris entered Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1930. He left school in 1933 to spend a year traveling in Europe. Returning to California, he married Mary Ellen Finfrock, who taught music while Morris began his apprenticeship as a writer. He became interested in photography around this time and traveled across the United States, taking the pictures of buildings and artifacts later to be published in The Inhabitants.
Morris’s early fiction is strongly autobiographical. My Uncle Dudley, his first novel, is based on an automobile journey he and his father took between Chicago and California in 1927. The Home Place and The World in the Attic were inspired by a visit to his native state after many years away. The Works of Love, his most personal novel, presents a man much like his father who pursues the American Dream and fails. The Huge Season reflects Morris’s experiences in college and...
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