Stephen King

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Stephen Edwin King is a best-selling American novelist and short story writer, often considered the "Master of Horror". His books have been translated into 33 different languages and published in over 35 different countries. There are over 300 million copies of his novels in publication. Some of his novels take on occult themes.

Contents

Biography and first works

Stephen King was born in 1947, in Maine. He attended Lisbon High School in Lisbon.

King's amateur press, Triad and Gaslight Books, published a two part book titled "The Star Invaders" in 1964. He made his first published appearance in 1965 in the magazine Comics Review with his pulp story "I Was a Teenage Grave Robber." The story ran about 6,000 words in length.

In 1966, King graduated from high school and took a scholarship to attend the University of Maine. Later that summer he was already working on a novel called "Getting It On", about some kids who take over a classroom and try unsuccessfully to ward off the National Guard. During his first year at college, King completed his first full length novel, "The Long Walk." He submitted the novel to Bennett Cerf/Random House only to have it rejected. King took the rejection badly and filed the book away. "The Long Walk" would later be published under King's pseudonym, Richard Bachman.

It was around those times that he made his first small sale with his story "The Glass Floor" for the amount of thirty-five dollars.

In June 1970, King graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a certificate to teach high school.

His next idea came from the poem by Robert Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", which gave him the inspiration for his later Dark Tower series. Due to his lack of income he was unable to further pursue the novel at great length and it too was filed away. King took a measly job of pumping gas earning $1.25 an hour. Also he earned money for his writings by submitting his short stories to men's magazines such as Cavalier.

Writing Career

On January 2, 1971, Stephen King married Tabitha Jane Spruce. In the fall of 1971, King took a teaching job at Hampden Academy earning $6,400 a year. The Kings then moved to Hermon, a town west of Bangor, Maine.

Stephen King then began to work on a short story about a teenage girl named Carietta White. After a completing a few pages, King decided it was not a worthy story and crumpled the pages up and tossed them into the trash. Fortunately, his wife took the pages out and read them. She encouraged her husband to continue the story.

In January 1973, King submitted Carrie to Doubleday. In March, Doubleday bought the book and sold the paperback rights to New American Library for $400,000. Based on the book contract, Stephen King would get half of that. King quit his teaching job to pursue writing full time.

Since then, King has had numerous short stories and novels published and movies created from his work, sometimes directed by high-profile names. Worth mentioning are the film versions of "Carrie", directed by Brian de Palma; "The Shining", by Stanley Kubrick; "Misery", by Rob Reiner; and "The Shawshank Redemption", by Frank Darabont. In his review of "The Green Mile", award-winning critic Roger Ebert wrote that "Stephen King, sometimes dismissed as merely a best-seller, has in his best novels some of the power of Dickens, who created worlds that enveloped us and populated them with colorful, peculiar, sharply seen characters. King in his strongest work is a storyteller likely to survive as Dickens has, despite the sniffs of the litcrit establishment."[1]

In June 1999, Stephen King was severely injured in an accident that left him in critical condition with injuries to his lung, broken ribs, a broken leg, and a severely fractured hip. After three weeks of operations, he was released from the Central Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine. Stephen continued to be bedridden and required intensive rehabilitation over the remainder of this year. He is expected to be able to walk about 9-12 months after the accident. Due to Stephen King's injuries, his projects were delayed at least a year. He relives this incident in The Dark Tower, the final book in the Dark Tower series, in which his life is saved by Jake Chambers.

In 2003, he was awarded The National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and currently collaborates for Entertainment Weekly magazine.

Politics

Stephen King is a liberal; he is a self proclaimed supporter of the Democratic Party, and Barack Obama.[2] He has also expressed distaste for conservative political commentators such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck.[3]

On April 4, 2008, King made comments which have been criticized as elitist and anti-military. While addressing a symposium of high school students, he stated that "The fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that." These comments were criticized by Noel Sheppard, a conservative blogger. [4] King has since refused to apologize for the comments, blaming the controversy on conservative commentators and claiming that Sheppard and other conservatives "...take their cues from [conservative commentators Rush] Limbaugh and [Bill] O’Reilly, who are adept at shifting discussion from what they don’t want to talk about, such as the failures of the war in Iraq, to what they want to talk about..." According to King, "[Conservative commentators] shift the discussion away from education to who’s supporting the troops. Of course, I support the troops. In this country, there’s an equating of intelligence with elitism, and elitism with being unpatriotic. But smart people love the U.S., too." [5]

List of Stephen King's works

  • Carrie (1974)
  • Salem's Lot (1975)
  • Rage (as Richard Bachman) (1977)
  • The Shining (1977)
  • Night Shift (1978)
  • The Stand (1978)
  • The Dead Zone (1979)
  • The Long Walk (as Richard Bachman) (1979)
  • Danse Macabre (1980) - Non-fiction
  • Firestarter (1980)
  • Cujo (1981)
  • Roadwork (as Richard Bachman) (1981)
  • Creepshow (1982)
  • Different Seasons (1982)
  • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982)
  • The Running Man (as Richard Bachman) (1982)
  • Christine (1983)
  • Pet Sematary (1983)
  • The Talisman (1984)
  • Thinner (as Richard Bachman) (1984)
  • Cycle of the Werewolf (1985)
  • Skeleton Crew (1985)
  • The Bachman Books (1985)
  • It (1986)
  • Misery (1987)
  • The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987)
  • The Eyes of the Dragon (1987)
  • The Tommyknockers (1987)
  • The Dark Half (1989)
  • Four Past Midnight (1990)
  • The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition (1990)
  • Needful Things (1991)
  • The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991)
  • Dolores Claiborne (1992)
  • Gerald's Game (1992)
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes (1993)
  • Insomnia (1994)
  • Rose Madder (1995)
  • The Green Mile: All 6 Parts (1996)
  • The Regulators (as Richard Bachman) (1996)
  • Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997)
  • Six Stories (1997)
  • Apt Pupil (1998)
  • Bag of Bones (1998)
  • Hearts in Atlantis (1999)
  • Storm of the Century (1999)
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)
  • On Writing (2000) - Non-fiction
  • Secret Windows (2000)
  • Black House (2001)
  • Dreamcatcher (2001)
  • Everything's Eventual (2002)
  • From a Buick 8 (2004)
  • Cell (2006)
  • Lisey's Story (2006)
  • Blaze (as Richard Bachman) (2007)
  • Duma Key (2008)
  • Under the Dome (2009)
  • Blockade Billy (2010)
  • Full Dark, No Stars (2010)

References

External Links

Stephen King: The Official Website

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