William Dean Howells was an American novelist and short story writer. He is best known for his novel The Rise of Silas Lapham, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1900. He also served as editor of The Atlantic Monthly magazine and was one of the most influential literary critics of his time.
Howells was born in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio in 1837. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School before becoming a full-time writer. Howells made his first appearance as a literary critic in 1867, when he reviewed Henry James’ novel Roderick Hudson for the Atlantic Monthly.
He went on to become one of the foremost American writers of his day, writing novels such as A Hazard of New Fortunes (1889) and The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885). He also wrote short stories and essays that were published in magazines such as Harper’s Weekly and Harper’s Bazaar, among others. He won several awards for his writing including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1900 for The Rise of Silas Lapham.