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Nathanael West Books & Biography


Born in New York City in 1903 as Nathan Weinstein, American writer Nathanael West was known both for his novels and for his career as a screenwriter. Uninterested in academics while attending college, West graduated without prospects and worked miscellaneous jobs before employment as a night manager in a hotel finally provided him with time to dedicate to his true passion—writing. West began working on several books and published his first work, The Dream Life of Balso Snell, in 1931, and Miss Lonelyhearts—now considered to be his masterpiece—followed soon after. Now working as a screenwriter for Columbia Pictures, West’s experience in the film industry served as inspiration for his 1939 novel, The Day of the Locust. Though he published four novels and two plays during his lifetime, West’s work was not widely recognized until after his death.