Hergesheimer, Joseph (hûrˈgəshĪˈmər) [key], 1880–1954, American novelist, b. Philadelphia. He first achieved literary distinction with the publication of The Three Black Pennys (1917). This novel, set against the background of the Pennsylvania iron industry, portrays the changing fortunes of a family of ironmasters. His other important works include Java Head (1919), dealing with miscegenation in a New England sea-trading family, and Linda Condon (1919), a character study of an emotionally repressed girl. Among his later colorful novels, generally considered less artistic, are Balisand (1924) and Tampico (1926). Hergesheimer, who has been called a naturalist writing of the romantic past, is also the author of short stories, essays, biographies, and the autobiography, From an Old House (1925).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.