This chapter, which discusses the pattern of quiet departures from the Communist movement and the cessation of writing by promising writers, notes that the year 1934 has a peculiar prominence due to the spectacular disappearing acts of two young writers, aged twenty-five and twenty-eight. It names these writers as Henry Roth, who authored what is now judged to be perhaps the most highly regarded novel of the pre-World War II Left, Call It Sleep, and Lauren Gilfillan, who wrote one of the most widely read books in the early 1930s, I Went to Pit College. The chapter notes that in 1935, both writers signed the call for the First American Writers Congress on the cusp of the turn toward the Popular Front. It observes that the failure of these two neophyte writers to follow up their initial successes can be blamed on the social and biological tragedies of humanity.
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