Booth Tarkington: The Magnificent Ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons

by Booth Tarkington

Published: 1918

The Magnificent Ambersons was published in 1918, and it became the second winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1919 after Ernest Poole's His Family won the initial award the previous year.

It is the second book in Booth Tarkington's Growth Trilogy which examines the industrial growth and urban sprawl of the late 1800's and early 1900's in the United States. It does this in The Magnificent Ambersons by tracing the declining fortunes of the Amberson family as their wealth and social status evaporate over the course of three generations.

The highly-acclaimed book was followed in the Growth Trilogy by The Midlander in 1923 - later retitled National Avenue. Tarkington later won a second Pulitzer in 1922 for his novel Alice Adams. He stands alongside William Faulkner and John Updike as the only writers to ever win the award multiple times, each having won it twice.

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