Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Day of the Locust / Miss Lonelyhearts
Nathanael West


In The Day of the Locust a young artist, Tod Hackett, arrives in LA full of dreams. But celebrity and artifice rule and he soon joins the ranks of the disenchanted that drift around the fringes of Hollywood. When he meets Faye Greener, an aspiring actress, he is intoxicated and his desperate passion explodes into rage. Published in 1939.

Miss Lonelyhearts is a decidedly off-kilter, darkly comic tale set in New York in the early 30s. A nameless man is assigned to produce a newspaper advice column. It was meant to be a joke. But as endless letters from the Desperate, Sick-of-it-All and Disillusioned pile up for Miss Lonelyhearts’s attention the joke begins to escape him. Published in 1933.

Paperback, 256pp
Vintage Classics, 2012 (1933, 1939)
ISBN 9780099573166