Saturday, February 22, 2014

Upton Sinclair: World Famous Author in Monrovia

Upton Sinclair, celebrated author of The Jungle and Pulitzer Prize winner, moved to Monrovia in 1942 and remained a resident for over two decades (until 1966). Sinclair spent much of his time writing at 464 North Myrtle, a lovely Mediterranean home far removed from the Chicago slums he explored in his most famous novel. He and his wife enjoyed a quiet life in Monrovia.

A self-described teetotaler, a result of his experiences with his father’s alcoholism, Sinclair once shared the story of his embarrassment when a physician prescribed whiskey for his wife’s heart condition. He couldn’t bear to purchase alcohol in Monrovia, where he and his views were well-known, so, to avoid any questions, he did his shopping out of town.

 Are you a fan of Upton Sinclair? The Monrovia Public Library is fortunate to hold a first edition of The Jungle, among some of his other published works. If you’d like to see (but not touch) the collection, ask a librarian for a brief tour of the Heritage Room. There are circulating copies of his work as well.

Source: "Upton Sinclair Called Monrovia Home for 20 Years," Daily News-Post (Monrovia, California), 20 September 1973; folder: “Sinclair, Upton,” vertical files; Heritage Room, Monrovia Public Library, Monrovia, California.