Stephen Kings Influence On American Literature

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Stephen King is one of the most influential authors of today. His award-winning novels and short stories are known world -wide. His many awards and nominations have created a space for him in the literary world. King is a true “Horror King”, for his books, turned movies, have scared millions world- wide. Stephen King has helped bring America to prominence through his many books, essays and short stories. Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947 at the Maine General Hospital in Portland, Maine. His parents were Donald Edwin King and Ruth Pillsbury King. Stephen being the only natural born child in the family and his older brother David having been adopted at birth two years earlier. “The Kings were the typical, “nuclear” family of the fifties until one night when Donald King said he was stepping out for cigarettes and was never heard from again.” At this point Ruth took over raising the family with help from other relatives of the family. They traveled throughout many states over several years finally moving back to Durham, Maine in 1958. (P.R. 5 pg.1) Stephen King began his actual writing career in January of 1959 when David King and Stephen decided to publish their own local town newspaper named Dave's Rag. David bought a mimeograph and they created a paper that sold for five cents an issue. Stephen King attended Lisbon High School, in Lisbon, Maine in 1962. Collaborating with his best friend Chris Chesley, in 1963 they published a collection of 18 short stories called People, Places, and Things-Volume I. King's stories included "Hotel at the End of the Road", "I've Got to Get Away!” "The Dimension Warp", "The Thing at the Bottom of the Well", "The Stranger", "I'm Falling", "The Cursed Expedition", and "The Other Side of the Fog." A year later King's amateur press Triad and Gaslight Books, published a two part book titled "The Star Invaders". Stephen King made his first actual published appearance in 1965 in the magazine Comics Review with his story "I Was a Teenage Grave Robber." The story ran about 6,000 words in length. In 1966, Stephen King graduated from high school and took a scholarship to attend the University of Maine. Looking back on his high school days, King recalled that "my high school career was totally undistinguished. I was not ... ... middle of paper ... ...p; In conclusion, Stephen King is not an easy person to write about. There are thousands of websites and books devoted to him and yet, none mention his international fame. Though my findings were slim, I feel that, given the information available, I have successfully proved that Stephen King has helped bring America into prominence through his writings. King is a dedicated writer and there is no end to his writing in site. “…And aside from being a force of nature, he’s a pretty good guy.” As said by Robert Parker, introducer of speakers at a benefit, Voices Louder Than Words, at Harvard. (P.R. 1 Pg. 161) 1. Beahm, George. America’s Best Loved Boogeyman Stephen King. Andrews McMeel Publishing Kansas City 1998. 2. Beahm, George. The Stephen King Story. Andrew’s McMeel Publishing Kansas City 1991. 3. “Accident Recovery Update.” Stephen King Official Web Presence. http://www.stephenking.com (30 Jan. 2000) 4. “Novel Database.” http:///www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/1947/kingworks.htm (10 Feb. 2000) 5. “Stephen King Biography.” http://utopianweb.com/king/bio.html (10 Feb. 2000) 6. King, Stephen. ‘Salems Lot. Doubleday and Company New York 1975.

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