Joseph R. McElrath Jr., Jesse S. Crisler
Born in Chicago in 1870, Frank Norris led a life of adventure and art. He moved to San Francisco at fifteen, spent two years in Paris painting, returned to San Francisco to become an internationally famous author, and died at age thirty-two from a ruptured appendix. During his short life, he wrote an inspired series of novels about the United States coming of age, including "The Octopus", "The Pit" and "McTeague". Until recently, various obstacles prevented a comprehensive biography of Norris: the writer burned most of his correspondence, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire devoured more, and his brother and widow dispersed his surviving papers as gifts. Joseph R. McElrath Jr. and Jesse S. Crisler spent over thirty years amassing the material necessary for this truly full-scale portrait of Norris.