Schorer, Mark 1908-1977 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Schorer, Mark 1908-1977

Novelist, Biographer, Scholar and Teacher

Schorer, Mark 1908-1977 | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.
b. Sauk City, Wisconsin, 1908
d. August, 1977

Mark Schorer was a novelist, biographer, scholar and teacher. He was the second of four children.

Schorer was educated in Sauk City public schools until 1925, when he came to the University of Wisconsin. While studying under Helen C. White, Schorer began writing stories. After earning his Ph.D. in English in 1936, he held positions at Dartmouth and Harvard.


Schorer published his first novel, "A House Too Old" in 1935. He joined the University of California-Berkeley as Associate Professor of English in 1945. He was already a popular author of two novels and short stories, essays and reviews in journals and magazines. Later, Schorer returned to Wisconsin as a part-time English instructor. He began to publish stories in smaller magazines and work alongside his childhood friend, August Derleth, publishing articles in pulp magazines. He and Derleth collaborated on "Colonel Markesan" and "Less Pleasant People" in 1966. His other works include "William Blake: The Politics of Vision" (1946), "Technique as Discovery" (1948), "Wars of Love" (1954), "Sinclair Lewis: An American Life" (1961), "The World We Imagine" (1968), and "Pieces of Life" (1977).


He was a Fulbright fellow in Italy and again in 1952, 1964 and 1967. He was the recipient of Guggenheim Memorial Fellowships in 1941, 1942, 1948 and 1973. In 1961, he won the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal Award. He received a Doctorate of Literature from the University of Wisconsin in 1962. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and admitted to the Institute of Arts and Letters. He received the Distinguished Service Citation from the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in 1969. From 1962 to 1966, he served on the executive council of the Modern Language Association and on the board of directors of the American Council of Learned Societies from 1970 to 1972.

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"Notable Wisconsin Authors," Wisconsin Library Association (; University of Wisconsin Alumni Association