Gadsby was written in 1939 by Ernest Vincent Wright. The story is about a dying city, Branton Hills, that is revitalized from the efforts of John Gadsby and a youth group he organizes. It is written as a lipogram and doesn’t use any words that contain the letter E.
It was self-published and received little acknowledgement at the time. It is very popular with those who are fans of constrained writing and is sought after by book collectors. The novel is very rare. Later editions of the novel have carried the subtext of “50,000 word novel without the letter “E.”!
Not much is really known of Ernest Vincent Wright. Some think he was English by birth, but he was most likely American. It is possible that he was in the Navy for a short while and went to a vocational high school linked to MIT. He was unable to find anyone to publish his lipogram novel and was forced to use a vanity press to bring out his book.