William Dean Howells was an American realist author and literary critic. His father was a newspaper editor and printer, and Howells began to help his father with typesetting and printing work at an early age.
By the time he was thirty years old he had written articles for magazines and became an assistant editor and then the editor for the Atlantic Monthly, a post that gave him enormous influence as an arbiter of American taste. His literary reputation took off with his second realist novel, A Modern Instance, which described the decay of a marriage. His novel The Rise of Silas Lapham is perhaps his best known work, describing the rise and fall of an American entrepreneur in the paint business. His social views were also strongly reflected in the novels Annie Kilburn and A Hazard of New Fortunes.
"Wild Flowers of the Asphalt" - a short story that intricately discusses the wild flowers found amoung the asphalt and concrete of New York City.