1 minute read

Stephen King Biography

(1948– ), Carrie, Salem's Lot, The Shining, Firestarter, Cujo, Christine, Pet Sematary, The Stand

American writer of horror stories, born in Portland, Maine, which formed the setting of most of his best stories, and educated at the University of Maine. He published short fiction in the 1960s, and became a best-selling author with his first novel, Carrie (1974), which, like many of his books, was filmed. King has perhaps absorbed in his fiction some of the excesses of the horror movies of the time. With increasing sophistication and growing complexity he has integrated this material into a vision of modern rural and small town America in works such as Salem's Lot (1975), The Shining (1977, filmed by Stanley Kubrick), Firestarter (1980), Cujo (1981), Christine (1983), Pet Sematary (1983), and It (1986). The Stand (1978) moves to an apocalyptic future, and The Dead Zone (1979) endows its psychic protagonist with a genuine pathos. Misery (1987) and The Dark Half (1989) inwardly depict their writer protagonists whose personalities mask a deadness of the heart. With later novels such as Needful Things (1991) and Insomnia (1994), King's use of the supernatural has decreased. See also Bestsellers.

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Patrick Kavanagh Biography to Knocknarea Sligo