Kazin, Alfred (kāˈzĭn) [key], 1915–98, American critic, b. New York City, grad. College of the City of New York (B.S., 1935) and Columbia (M.A., 1938). Kazin was one of the outstanding literary critics of his time. His first book, the influential and pioneering On Native Grounds (1942), is a critical study of American prose literature from Howells to Faulkner. His later essay collections include The Inmost Leaf (1955), Contemporaries (1962), Bright Book of Life (1973), An American Procession (1984), Writing Was Everything (1995), and God & the American Writer (1997).
See his autobiographical works, A Walker in the City (1951), Starting Out in the Thirties (1965), and New York Jew (1978), as well as A Lifetime Burning in Every Moment: From the Journals of Alfred Kazin (1996) and Alfred Kazin's Journals (2011), ed. by R. M. Cook; biography by R. M. Cook (2008).