Business is woven into the very fabric of American life, yet rarely surfaces in the nation's literary history. Even in novels about business, it proves an elusive motif that fails to mirror actual business organizations. Erhan Simsek argues that literary representations of business remain ineffable because business serves potential aesthetic functions, subtly yet meaningfully impacting readers. Exploring the complex representation of business in realist, naturalist and modernist works, Erhan Simsek reveals these functions by analyzing how the motif intertwines with social developments, literary movements and author biographies. He thus illuminates the motif itself while highlighting the utility of a focus on the changing functions of literature.