Big Fish: On the Relative Popularity of Zane Grey and Ernest Hemingway
Explores notions of popularity in American literature through the parallel and sometimes overlapping experiences of two ostensibly different writers. Hemingway and Grey, both natives of the Midwest, reflect the influence of Theodore Roosevelt and Owen Wister (The Virginian, 1902) in their understanding, application, and disregard of the codes of the white American male frontier. The writers share an interest in the healing qualities of nature. And both seemed to be aware of and consciously addressed the sometimes-cruel marketplace for books and the shifting demographics of their respective readerships.