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Stephen King

Stephen King Stephen King[1†]

Stephen Edwin King, born on September 21, 1947, is an acclaimed American author renowned for his contributions to the genres of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy[1†][2†]. Often referred to as the “King of Horror”, his books have sold more than 350 million copies as of 2006[1†]. Many of his works have been adapted into films, television series, miniseries, and comic books[1†].

Early Years and Education

Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine[1†]. His father, Donald Edwin King, was a traveling vacuum salesman who had returned from World War II[1†]. His mother was Nellie Ruth King (née Pillsbury)[1†]. King’s parents were married in Scarborough, Maine, on July 23, 1939[1†]. They lived with Donald’s family in Chicago before moving to Croton-on-Hudson, New York[1†]. King’s parents returned to Maine towards the end of World War II, living in a modest house in Scarborough[1†]. King is of Scots-Irish descent[1†].

As a child, King apparently witnessed one of his friends being struck and killed by a train, though he has no memory of the event[1†]. His family told him that after leaving home to play with the boy, King returned speechless and seemingly in shock[1†].

King attended Durham Elementary School and later graduated from Lisbon Falls High School[1†][3†][4†]. He then went on to attend the University of Maine in Orono, Maine[1†][4†][5†]. During his time at the university, King was a contributing writer for the weekly college newspaper for three years[1†][4†]. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1970[1†][2†][4†][5†].

Career Development and Achievements

After graduating from the University of Maine in 1970, Stephen King embarked on a career that would redefine the horror genre[2†]. He initially supported himself by teaching and working as a janitor, among other jobs, while writing short stories[2†].

King’s first published novel, “Carrie”, appeared in 1974 and was an immediate popular success[2†]. The story of a tormented teenage girl gifted with telekinetic powers, “Carrie” marked the beginning of King’s prolific career[2†]. This was followed by other significant works such as 'Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Stand, and The Dead Zone[2†]. His first major departure from the horror genre was “Different Seasons”, a collection of four novellas, which provided the basis for the films Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption[2†].

King has also published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman and has co-written works with other authors, notably his friend Peter Straub and his sons Joe Hill and Owen King[2†]. Among his other notable works are The Gingerbread Girl (2008), Under the Dome (2009), A Good Marriage (2010), A Face in the Crowd (2012), Joyland (2013), Revival (2014), Here There Be Tygers (2015), and many others[2†][6†].

King’s works have won several awards, including the Bram Stoker and August Derleth Awards[2†][7†]. He has also received recognition for his overall contribution to literature, including the 2003 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2007 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, and the 2014 National Medal of Arts[2†][7†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Stephen King’s writing career began with his first published novel, “Carrie”, in 1974[8†][9†][10†][11†]. This novel tells the story of a tormented teenage girl with telekinetic powers[8†][9†]. Following the success of “Carrie”, King published several other notable works:

These early works established King as a master storyteller, particularly in the horror genre. His ability to create complex, relatable characters and place them in extraordinary, terrifying situations quickly garnered him a wide readership and significant acclaim[8†][9†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Stephen King’s work is often analyzed for its exploration of the horror genre, its use of pop culture, and its portrayal of human frailty[12†][13†]. His stories are known for their detailed descriptions and strong sense of psychological tension[12†][13†]. King’s work often explores the concept of horror in everyday settings, bringing it out of traditional gothic settings and into modern suburbia[12†][13†].

King’s writing style is characterized by its explicit attention to detail, which gives his writing life and form[12†][14†]. He is known for creating a sense of unease in his readers, often serving as an emotional release for free-floating anxieties[12†][13†]. His stories often explore the consequences of well-intentioned actions leading to unintended horrors[12†].

In terms of technique, King is successful in creating fear and terror, the finest emotions any writer can induce according to him[12†][13†]. His stories easily fit the various levels of horror that he describes[12†][13†]. Not all King’s stories can be labeled solely horror; many have elements of science fiction, and many of his best stories contain a strong sense of psychological tension[12†][13†].

King’s work also explores the life of writers and how creativity can be both a gift and a bane[12†]. This is evident in his novel “The Shining”, where the main character’s struggle with writer’s block leads to terrifying consequences[12†][13†].

King’s influence on the horror genre is significant. His work has defined many aspects of horror, including the horrors of childhood, teenage years, life, and society[12†][14†]. His ability to create complex, relatable characters and place them in extraordinary, terrifying situations has garnered him a wide readership and significant acclaim[12†][13†].

Personal Life

Stephen King is married to Tabitha Spruce, a novelist, whom he wedded in 1971[15†]. They have two sons and a daughter[15†]. Both of their sons, Joe and Owen, have followed in their parents’ footsteps and have become authors[15†]. They have written books like “We’re All in This Together” (written by Owen in 2005) and “Heart-Shaped Box” (written by Joe in 2007)[15†].

King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947[15†][16†]. His father left the family when he was two years old, leaving his mother to care for Stephen and his older brother, David[15†][16†]. His mother took a series of low-paying jobs to support her children, and as a result, the boys saw little of her[15†][16†].

After starting a new family, Stephen King lived in a trailer with his wife outside Bangor, Maine[15†][17†]. Though he finally found work at the Hampden Academy, he still had to work shifts at the laundromat and write about two thousand words daily[15†][17†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Stephen King’s legacy in the literary world is unparalleled. His contributions to the horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy genres have not only revived but also reshaped these genres in the late 20th century[2†]. His narrative style, ability to evoke intense emotions, and the creation of memorable villains and monsters have been praised by critics, readers, and fellow authors alike[2†][18†].

However, King’s works are not without criticism. Some readers and critics have pointed out that the endings of some of his novels sometimes fall short of the rest of the story[2†][18†]. Despite this, it’s undeniable that King has more novels with strong and satisfying endings than those considered disappointing[2†][18†].

King’s works have had a significant impact on popular culture, with many of his novels being adapted into films, TV shows, and miniseries[2†]. These adaptations have further cemented his status as a preeminent author in the horror genre[2†].

King’s career, which began in 1967, continues to thrive. He remains a prolific writer, and it is perfectly possible that even more works will be uncovered[2†][19†]. His influence on the literary world and his ability to explore and depict various fears through his writing continue to engage readers worldwide[2†][18†].

In recognition of his contributions to literature, King has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Arts in 2015 and the National Book Award in 2003[2†]. His impact and legacy continue to inspire new generations of writers and readers[2†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Stephen King [website] - link
  2. Britannica - Stephen King: American novelist [website] - link
  3. Famous Authors - Stephen King [website] - link
  4. SunSigns - Stephen King Biography, Life, Interesting Facts [website] - link
  5. Encyclopedia.com - King, Stephen [website] - link
  6. Popular Networth - Stephen King (Updated February 2024) [website] - link
  7. Wikipedia (English) - List of awards and nominations received by Stephen King [website] - link
  8. Wikipedia (English) - Stephen King bibliography [website] - link
  9. Stephen King Revisited - Stephen King Books In Chronological Order [website] - link
  10. Hooked to Books - The Complete List of Stephen King Books in Order [website] - link
  11. Jules Buono - Literary Lifestyle - Stephen King Books in Order: Complete Reading Guide [website] - link
  12. eNotes - Stephen King Analysis [website] - link
  13. eNotes - Stephen King Short Fiction Analysis [website] - link
  14. Book Analysis - About Stephen King - Book Analysis [website] - link
  15. Wealthy Persons - Stephen King Net Worth 2024: Age, Height, Weight, Wife, Kids, Bio-Wiki [website] - link
  16. Encyclopedia of World Biography - Stephen King Biography [website] - link
  17. Book Analysis - 10 Incredible Facts about Stephen King [website] - link
  18. ScreenRant - Stephen King's Ending Problem Explained: Why They're So Bad [website] - link
  19. SuperSummary - Stephen King Summary [website] - link
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