Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Mc-Pa)

O'Hara, John

story set york

(US, 1905–70)

After doing numerous unskilled jobs, O'Hara became a journalist in New York. His varied experiences coupled with his proficiency as a writer produced novels and short stories about the country-club set in suburban Pennsylvania as well as urban tales of petty gangsters and call-girls. Start with Butterfield 8 (1935), which is based on a real murder. It is the sad story of Gloria Wandrous and her lovers, set in the speakeasies of the Prohibition era. With some original, stylish writing, O'Hara draws a sympathetic portrait of a neglected child who becomes a debauched young girl. Appointment in Samarra (1934) is about bourgeois socialites in a Pennsylvanian city, and concerns the disagreements and dirty dealings of a collection of unattractive, ambitious characters. The books contain surprisingly explicit sexual descriptions for the period. Pal Joey (1940), another New York story, was turned into a musical.

John Cheever, Ford Madox Ford  FS

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