Living life as a writer

Upton Sinclair: Aim At The Heart. Living Life As A Writer.

blog post #48 by Science Fiction Author Clara Bush

Image at Pixabay by Simon

Before writing his 1906 bestselling novel, The Jungle, Upton Sinclair spent seven weeks undercover in Chicago meatpacking plants. His purpose in writing his political fiction was to rally support for the factory workers. Sinclair’s graphic details depicting the sale of spoiled beef, poisoned rats ground up into sausage, and workers using the factory floors as toilets did ignite immediate worldwide outrage, but not for the factory workers’ intolerable conditions.

Beef sales fell fifty per cent in America and abroad. Six months later congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.

I aimed at the public’s heart, 
and by accident 
hit it in the stomach. 
—Upton Sinclair
With the money he made off his book, Sinclair founded the socialist commune, Helicon Hall Community, in Englewood, New Jersey, but it burned to the ground four months later under suspicious circumstances.

(Aside. The first American to win a Novel Peace Prize in Literature, Sinclair Lewis, author of Main Street, worked as a janitor for two months at Helicon Hall.)

Besides his interest in politics and writing, Sinclair explored the occult. In his 1930 book, Mental Radio, he included accounts of the research he conducted with  his wife, Mary Craig. (He called her Craig.) He was fascinated by his wife’s life long telepathic and psychic ability.
Be weird. What is the weirdest thing you have ever done?

The Science Fiction Reality blog is a little science, a little fiction, a little about writing, a little real, and a lot of weird.

Sources of information I Used to Know That Literature by C. Alan Joyce and Sarah Janssen.

Clara Bush
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