Sinclair Lewis was born in the small town of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, in 1885. His first great success in writing was a novel called Main Street, which was published in 1920. He based the book on life in his hometown but he didn’t have much of anything good to say about it.
It was thought that Main Street might sell 25,000 copies but after a few years it had sold several million. This was a huge success and the early 1920s equivalent of having a viral video on YouTube. Sinclair also became rich from this book.
Later, Sinclair Lewis became the first American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Lewis’s book attacked aspects of life in Sauk Centre and made some people in his hometown angry and defensive. Much later, the town came to embrace him and celebrate his writing success. The Sinclair Lewis Museum is in the town of Sauk Centre, Minnesota.
Also in Sauk Centre is the boyhood home of Sinclair Lewis, which has been restored and is open for visitors.
Sinclair Lewis’s boyhood home is the ninth place on Part One of our Minnesota Author Adventures Trail, and the Sinclair Lewis Museum is its final stop. Part Two picks up here and continues on to Walnut Grove.
Rebecca Blake Beech