Stephen Crane's first novel is the tale of a pretty young slum girl driven to brutal excesses by poverty and loneliness. It was considered so sexually frank and realistic, that the book had to be privately printed at first. It and GEORGE'S MOTHER, the shorter novel that follows in this edition, were eventually hailed as the first genuine expressions of Naturalism in American letters and established their creator as the American apostle of an artistic revolution which was to alter the shape and destiny of civilization itself.
Stephen Crane (18711900) was active as a reporter around the world in addition to being an acclaimed novelist.
Larzer Ziff is a research professor of English at Johns Hopkins University who has written extensively on American literary culture.
From the Trade Paperback edition.