On Sinclair Lewis, author of "Babbitt":

"How did this elusive outsider, by choice and by force, create such a flawless portrayal of the ultimate insider: a character unlike Huck in every way and yet every bit as iconically American? … Perhaps Lewis' main contribution to American literature was bringing fiction into the arena of public discourse. 'Babbitt' is the product of a culture ever more standardized and atomized, less in tune with the vagaries of the heart, in thrall to monopolies, with their corporate language of efficiency and productivity. If we agree with Ezra Pound that 'literature is news that stays news,' then we can safely say that Sinclair Lewis was, despite his poor standing in the literary establishment, the ultimate American novelist. We have to be thankful for the minor miracle that after almost a century, 'Babbitt' speaks to us still."

AZAR NAFISI, "The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books"