Stephen Kings Influence On American Literature Essay

This essay has a total of 1703 words and 9 pages.

Stephen Kings Influence On American Literature

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 at the top of my class, nor at the
bottom."

Later that summer King began 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
sent the novel to Bennett Cerf/Random House only to have it rejected. King took the
rejection bad and filed the book away. Stephen King made his first small sale with his
story "The Glass Floor" for the amount of thirty-five dollars. In June 1970, Stephen King
graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a
certificate to teach high school.

King's next idea came from the poem by Robert Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower
Came." He began work on The Dark Tower saga. But due to his lack of money he was unable to
finish the novel and it too was filed away. King took a measly job of pumping gas earning
$1.25 an hour. Stephen King then began to earn money for his writings by submitting his
short stories to men's magazines such as Cavalier.

On January 2, 1971, Tabitha Jane Spruce and Stephen King were married. And 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 work on a short story about a teenage girl named Carietta White.
After a completing a few pages, King decided it was not a good story and threw it away.
Fortunately for Stephen, his wife Tabitha took the pages out and read them. She encouraged
her husband to continue the story. He did. In January 1973, King submitted Carrie to
Doubleday. In March, Doubleday bought the book. "On May 12, Doubleday sold the paperback
rights of Carrie 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. And the rest, as they say, is history. (P.R. 5 pg.2)

Over the past 25 years, Stephen King has written over thirty best selling novels and short
stories. Following is a list of his best selling novels.

 Carrie
 ‘Salems Lot
 The Shining
 The Stand
 The Dead Zone
 Firestarter
 Cujo
 Christine
 Pet Sematary
 IT
 The Eyes of the Dragon
 Misery
 The Tommyknockers
 The Dark Half
 Needful Things
 Dolores Claiborne
 Gerald's Game
 Insomnia
 Rose Madder
 Desperation
Continues for 5 more pages >>




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