Maggie A Girl of the Streets has come to be considered one of the earliest American realistic novels.
Young Maggie Johnson, daughter of Irish immigrants, dreams of rising out of the New York slums.
It's the early 1890s, and the Bowery is the most notorious street in New York, home to the poorest of the immigrant newcomers.
First published in 1893, Maggie is the disturbing tale of Maggie Johnson, a young woman who, seduced by her brother's friend and then disowned by her family, turns to prostitution in New York City’s notorious Bowery slum.
Crane’s tale of a young slum girl driven to brutal excesses by poverty and desperation was such a sexually frank and realistic portrait at the time that the book had to be first privately printed.
In dazzlingly vivid prose about perhaps the most memorable prostitute in American literature, and with an unexpurgated sexual candor remarkable for his day, Crane depicts an urban sub-culture awash with alcohol and patrolled by swaggering gangland “toughs.”
STEPHEN CRANE (1871–1900) was an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and journalist. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation. Crane’s other notable works include The Open Boat, The Blue Hotel, The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. Crane, who worked as a freelance reporter, was in many ways addicted to the low life of the cities. He died at the age of 29.