John Dos Passos Society Conference

First Biannual John Dos Passos Society Conference   Chattanooga, TN   October 17-18, 2014       The John Dos Passos Society invites papers for its first biennial conference.  Prompted by the centennial of The Great War, a formative event in Dos Passos’s life and career, this conference will facilitate discussion of the author’s responses… Read more »

My Dos Passos Connection: Lisa Nanney

Literary scholar Lisa Nanney, author of John Dos Passos Revisited (MacMillan/Twayne, 1998), has generously shared her connection to the Dos Passos legacy: Like so many other readers, I first read Dos Passos in a course—a graduate seminar in Politics and the Novel.  There, in the 1980s, I discovered in U.S.A. novels that confronted issues urgent to… Read more »

Hotel Florida

Today is publication day for Amanda Vaill’s new nonfiction book, Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War. As I understand it, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos are key figures in the story. I have ordered my copy and I look forward to the author’s event at Politics & Prose in Washington,… Read more »

My Dos Passos Connection: Lucy Dos Passos Coggin

  My mother, Lucy Dos Passos Coggin, provides a personal reflection on one of my grandfather’s most precious paintings… Staying at Haiti’s Hotel Oloffson  There is something jaunty about the striped awning in my father’s painting of the famous old Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The tropical foliage and romantic cupola evoke an air of… Read more »

Dos Passos in Florida

This article reports that my grandfather visited the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. I don’t know of any such visit. I can’t confirm. But I do know that he made a significant walking trek through Florida in 1924–perhaps hist first major trip to the Sunshine State. Dos Passos called Florida “fabulous and… Read more »

The Great American Novel: “GAN”

Here is Smith College Professor Michael Gorra’s review of The Dream of the Great American Novel by Lawrence Buell. The new book includes Dos Passos’s U.S.A. in its discussion of literary works with national themes.

Dos Passos Reports on the “Bonus Army,” 1932

A family member shared this Library of America blog post with me.  It concerns my grandfather’s writing on the “Bonus Army” encampment in Washington, DC in 1932. His essay on the marchers was printed in the book, In All Countries, found in Library of America’s edition of collected travel writings. Here is an excerpt: Anacostia… Read more »

Eyes on U.S.A.

Sales of Library of America’s edition of Dos Passos’s U.S.A. jumped 30 percent last year. The book was ranked number 15 on Library of America’s bestseller list. Read more here. Hard work made this legacy-building possible. Profound thanks for the John Dos Passos Society, web designer James Walker, and writer Miguel Oliveira.  

JDP Connections: Donald Pizer

For the third entry in our web series, retitled as “Dos Passos Connections,” we have a statement from Donald Pizer, Pierce Butler Professor of English Emeritus at Tulane University.Most recently, Pizer published the book, Toward a Modernist Style: John Dos Passos. The article below is a wonderful reflection on the reading life. My first reading… Read more »

Recent Review of U.S.A.

      An interesting new critical appraisal of U.S.A. at The Rumpus. I concur with the reviewer’s insistence that today’s social media universe is an expansion and reflection of the media world in U.S.A. The Newsreel segments are quite reminiscent of a Twitter feed. What’s more–the original edition of U.S.A. was interspersed with pencil… Read more »

Dos Passos and Faulkner

I’ve never researched the Dos Passos-Faulkner relationship, personal and professional, at length. What I do know from my general biographical knowledge is that there was a strong professional respect between the authors. When Dos Passos was awarded the Gold Medal for Fiction from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Faulkner remarked of Dos, “Nobody… Read more »

Slang in the Dos Passos Oeuvre

The fictional works of Dos Passos present a plethora of American slang. Street talk is an essential components of his most popular masterworks: Manhattan Transfer, U.S.A., and Three Soldiers. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a couple expressions from his books. “Hell of a note” was evidently a conversational hallmark… Read more »

Why John Dos Passos Matters: Miguel Oliveira

We are continuing our series on “Why John Dos Passos Matters” with a 2nd entry. Here, Miguel Oliveira–author, scholar, and historian–offers his perspective on Dos Passos’s art in a passage called “John Dos Passos the Cinematographer.” We are pleased to share his contribution and we wish him the best as he tours in support of… Read more »

Our Web Designer James L. Walker

The high aesthetic value of this website is thanks to the artistry of James Walker, professional web and graphics designer. Jim has a great eye for lines, color, and all other principles of visual arts. In our hyper-speed digital age, there are few artists who have the discipline to plan long-term projects. Jim is the… Read more »

Happy New Year, Happy Birthday JDP

January 14, my grandfather’s birthday, is a great time to review recent Dos Passos news and ongoing projects. Happy New Year and Happy Birthday John Dos Passos! On December 24, 2013, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published the first Amazon Kindle versions of the three individual volumes of John Dos Passos‘s U.S.A. Washington Independent Review of Books… Read more »

New Book on Dos Passos by Miguel Oliveira

Portuguese author Miguel Oliveira has published a new book on my grandfather. It is called From a Man without a Country to an American by Choice: John Dos Passos and Migration. The book is the product of nearly a decade of research. Townsend Ludington, Boshamer Professor Emeritus of American Studies and English at University of… Read more »

Dos Passos in the News: National Book Award

  Congratulations to George Packer for winning the National Book Award for non-fiction with his new work, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. Packer modeled the structure and theme of The Unwinding after John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. New York Times journalist David Brooks acknowledges the connection to Dos Passos. Packer himself  notes… Read more »

New Dos Passos Scholarship

Long-time JDP scholar Donald Pizer, Tulane professor emeritus, has published a new book on Dos Passos and modernism. It’s available now on Amazon.

Sherman Alexie Wins Dos Passos Literature Prize

Congratulations to author Sherman Alexie on winning Longwood University’s John Dos Passos Literature Prize. Alexie spoke at Longwood about his literary career. I’m intrigued by the diversity of his work–from novels to poetry to short stories to screenplays. Like Dos Passos, he seems to enjoy changing genres. I look forward to reading Alexie’s The Absolutely… Read more »

“Why John Dos Passos Matters” Inaugural Entry by Victoria M. Bryan

 John Dos Passos – A Necessary Addition to the 21st Century American Literature Syllabus I got interested in John Dos Passos’s work during my Master’s program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga when Dr. Aaron Shaheen required that his students read The 42nd Parallel in a class on modern American nationalism. Being a young,… Read more »