Forgotten American writer of the early 20th century. 1922 winner of a Literary Digest poll and subject of the first doctoral thesis on Modern American Literature. Though once considered the equal of Flaubert and superior to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hergesheimer saw his fortunes tank in his own lifetime, as the flowery, "aesthetic" writing style fell out of favor during The Great Depression and World War II. A characteristic sample from Hergesheimer's book Cytherea:

The early gloom gathered familiarly in the long main room of the clubhouse; the fire cast out fanwise and undependable flickering light upon the relaxed figures; it shone on tea cups, sparkled in rich, translucent preserves, and glimmered through a glass sugar bowl. It was all, practically, Lee Randon reflected, as it had been before and would be again.

Hergesheimer's reputation has shown signs of reviving in recent years, buoyed by re-evaluations of contemporaries like Sinclair Lewis. However, he is the subject of only a handful of scholarly studies. More information at