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Smoke and Shorty

This early work by Jack London was originally published in 1920 and we are now republishing it for the modern reader. Jack London was born in San Francisco, USA in 1876. In order to support his working class family, he left school at the age of fourteen and worked in a string of unskilled jobs, before returning briefly to graduate. Around this time, London discovered the public library in Oakland, and immersed himself in the literature of the day. In 1894, after a spell working on merchant ships, he set out to experience the life of the tramp, with a view to gaining an insight into the national class system and the raw essence of the human condition. London was an impassioned advocate of socialism and workers' rights, and these themes inform a number of his works - most notably his dystopian novel The Iron Heel, published in 1907. He even ran unsuccessfully as the Socialist nominee for mayor of Oakland on two occasions. London died in 1916, aged 40.
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