Winner of the Pulitzer Prize after publication in 1921, Alice Adams chronicles the changing fortunes of the title character, a young social climber, ashamed of her unsuccessful family. Hoping to attract a wealthy husband, she lies about her background, but she is found out and then shunned by those she sought to attract.
Through it all, Tarkington masterfully traces his favorite themes of time and loss, of vanishing innocence and the corrupting influence of power.
At the novel’s end, she knows her chances for happiness and a successful marriage are bleak, but she remains courageous and unbowed.
BOOTH TARKINGTON (1869-1946) was an American playwright and novelist, who along with John Updike and William Faulkner, was one of only three playwrights to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction more than once. Among his most popular works are Alice Adams, Gentle Julia, The Magnificent Ambersons, (famously adapted for the screen by Orson Welles), Presenting Lilly Mars, Monsieur Beaucaire, Penrod and Sam, Women, and The Ghost Story.