Back Ring Lardner

Ring Lardner

Ring Lardner in an undated file photo. (Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images)

Major works:
You Know Me AlThe Big Town • “The Love Nest” • “Haircut”

“I doubt that anyone who has not given close and deliberate attention to the American vulgate will ever realize how magnificently Lardner handles it. He has had more imitators, I suppose, than any other living American writer, but has he any actual rivals? They all try to write the speech of the streets as adeptly and as amusingly as he writes it, and they all fall short of him… And they are all inferior in observation, in sense of character, in shrewdness and insight.”
—H. L. Mencken

“Lardner has marked the distinction between the baseball player’s and the prize-fighter’s slang, can speak the language of the Chicago songwriter of ‘Some Like Them Cold,’ who has come to New York to make his fortune, and has equally at his command the whole vocabulary of adolescent clichés of the young girl who writes to the songwriter, and of the quite different set of clichés of the middle-aged man from New Jersey who goes to Florida for his golden honeymoon… Lardner’s language is the product of a philologist’s ear and a born writer’s relish for words.”
—Edmund Wilson

Library of America

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

Browse our books Subscribe

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Support our mission