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Stock# 62830
Description

Rare promotional map issued by Doubleday at the time of the publication of Sinclair Lewis's Work of Art.

The map's key locates 17 principle places from Lewis' works of fiction.

The map illustrates the location of Lewis's imaginary State of Winnemac (southern Michigan and northern Ohio). Winnemac is a fictional U.S. state invented by the writer Sinclair Lewis. His novel Babbitt takes place in Zenith, its largest city (population 361,000, according to a sketch-map Lewis made to guide his writing. Winnemac is also a setting for Gideon Planish, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, and Dodsworth.

Lewis created his fictional places after residents of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, were upset with the town's portrayal in Main Street. In one of the essays in "Sinclair Lewis: A Collection of Critical Essays" Mark Schorer describes "the state of Winnemac" as "more typical than any real state in the Union". In "The Last of the Provincials: The American Novel, 1915–1925" noted critic H. L. Mencken sees Winnemac as exemplifying the "standardized chain-store state" of the midwest. In his critical study of Sinclair Lewis, Sheldon Grebstein notes that the "average mid-western state called Winnemac" is an amalgamation of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.

According to Batchelor, in 1921, Lewis's wife wrote to a friend that Lewis had made "the most astonishingly complete set of maps of Zenith, so that the city, the suburbs, the state" were clear in his mind. John S. Mayfield of Syracuse University discovered the maps in Lewis's Vermont study in 1961. One map was entitled "The State in which is Zenith." Batchelor called it "the most exciting" and said that it was "of greater imaginative importance than the city [because it] provides in a greater way than Zenith the interrelatedness among these works."

In 1934, an earlier commentator, George Annand, had deduced and published a "Map of Sinclair Lewis's United States," but the discovery of Lewis's own map showed significant differences.  

Rarity

While the map is referenced in literature, we were unable to find any other example of the map in OCLC or elsewhere on line.