A House Too Old

Kathryn Klipstein '43

I have just finished reading Sinclair Lewis: An American Life, by Mark Schorer. I had a course under this author at the University of Wyoming some years ago and just happened upon this book when I was wandering through the state library recently. Schorer was raised and educated in Wisconsin. Supposedly his first book was A House Too Old. I contacted Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and rare book dealers, but can’t find anything on it. I know this is difficult, but I would really like to know if you could find anything on campus. I think he was raised in Sauk City, home of August Derleth.


Mark Schorer was born in Sauk City, Wisconsin, on May 17, 1908. As the second of four children, Schorer was educated in Sauk City public schools until 1925 when he came to the UW. While studying at the UW under Helen White, Schorer began writing stories. After graduating in 1929 he went to Harvard. Later, Schorer returned to Wisconsin and was a part-time English instructor; it was then that he began to publish stories in smaller thriving magazines and work alongside his childhood friend, August Derleth, publishing articles in pulp magazines.

Schorer published his first novel, A House Too Old, in 1935. The novel, which came to represent the failure of democracy and the American dream, tells the story of Selma Hauser, a citizen of the fictional town of Sacton.

Schorer went on to publish 15 other books by 1977. He also edited a number of books and wrote a number of articles and short stories in various periodicals. Schorer’s vast years of writing came to an end with his death on August 11, 1977.

A copy of Schorer’s first novel can be found at the UW-Superior or UW-LaCrosse libraries.