New Walt Whitman Novel

We’d be remiss here at NDQ if we didn’t point our readers (or at least the few readers who haven’t already heard the news) in the direction of the new Walt Whitman novel, The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle: An Auto-Biography.

The new work was discovered by Zachary Turpin, a graduate student at the University of Houston, and published this past week by the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review out of the University of Iowa as a free download. The novella was probably written in the 1850s around the same time as Whitman’s much more famous poem Leaves of Grass, and initially appeared as a serial in a newspaper called The New-Yorker. Like many authors, Whitman was not overly proud of his early efforts and hoped that they would be “quietly dropp’d in oblivion,” but like the internet, the archive has a strange way of preserving even those histories that we would like to keep from ourselves.

Download the novel here and do read Zachary Turpin’s introductory essay as well.

Read some of the press coverage in the New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, et c.

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