33 minute read

Stephen (Edwin) (Richard Bachman King Eleanor Druse Steve King John Swithen) (1947–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

Born 1947, in Portland, ME; Education: University of Maine at Orono, B.Sc., 1970. Politics: Democrat. Hobbies and other interests: Reading (mostly fiction), jigsaw puzzles, playing the guitar ("I'm terrible and so try to bore no one but myself"), movies, bowling.


Agent—Arthur Greene, 101 Park Ave., New York, NY 10178.


Writer. Has worked as a janitor, a laborer in an industrial laundry, and in a knitting mill. Hampden Academy (high school), Hampden, ME, English teacher, 1971–73; University of Maine, Orono, writer-in-residence, 1978–79. Owner, Philtrum Press (publishing house), and WZON-AM (rock 'n' roll radio station), Bangor, ME. Has made cameo appearances in films, including Knightriders, 1981, Creepshow, 1982, Maximum Overdrive, 1986, Pet Sematary, 1989, and The Stand, 1994. Judge for 1977 World Fantasy Awards, 1978.


Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Screen Artists Guild, Screen Writers of America, Writers Guild.

Honors Awards

Carrie named to School Library Journal Book List, 1975; World Fantasy Award nominations, 1976, for 'Salem's Lot, 1979, for The Stand and Night Shift, 1980, Stephen Kingfor The Dead Zone, 1981, for "The Mist," and 1983, for "The Breathing Method: A Winter's Tale," in Different Seasons; Hugo Award nomination, World Science Fiction Society, and Nebula Award nomination, Science Fiction Writers of America, both 1978, both for The Shining; Balrog Awards, second place in best novel category, for The Stand, and second place in best collection category for Night Shift, both 1979; named to American Library Association list of best books for young adults, 1979, for The Long Walk, and 1981, for Firestarter; World Fantasy Award, 1980, for contribu-tions to the field, and 1982, for story "Do the Dead Sing?"; Career Alumni Award, University of Maine at Orono, 1981; Nebula Award nomination, 1981, for story "The Way Station"; special British Fantasy Award for outstanding contribution to the genre, British Fantasy Society, 1982, for Cujo; Hugo Award, 1982, for Stephen King's Danse Macabre; named Best Fiction Writer of the Year, Us magazine, 1982; Locus Award for best collection, 1986, for Stephen King's Skeleton Crew; Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel, Horror Writers Association, 1988, for Misery; Bram Stoker Award for Best Collection, 1991, for Four Past Midnight; World Fantasy award for short story, 1995, and O. Henry Award, 1996, all for The Man in the Black Suit; Bram Stoker Award for Best Novelette, 1996, for Lunch at the Gotham Cafe; Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel, 1997, for The Green Mile; Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel, 1999, for Bag of Bones; Bram Stoker Award nominee in novel category (with Peter Straub), 2001, for Black House; Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, National Book Award, 2003; The Stand was voted one of the nation's 100 best-loved novels by the British public as part of the BBC's The Big Read, 2003.



Carrie: A Novel of a Girl with a Frightening Power (also see below), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1974, movie edition published as Carrie, New American Library/Times Mirror (New York, NY), 1975, published in a limited edition with introduction by Tabitha King, Plume (New York, NY), 1991.

'Salem's Lot (also see below), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1975, television edition, New American Library (New York, NY), 1979, published in a limited edition with introduction by Clive Barker, Plume (New York, NY), 1991.

The Shining (also see below), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1977, movie edition, New American Library (New York, NY), 1980, published in a limited edition with introduction by Ken Follett, Plume (New York, NY), 1991.

The Stand (also see below), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1978, enlarged and expanded edition published as The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1990.

The Dead Zone (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1979, movie edition published as The Dead Zone: Movie Tie-In, New American Library (New York, NY), 1980.

Firestarter (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1980, with afterword by King, 1981, published in a limited, aluminum-coated, asbestos-cloth edition, Phantasia Press (Huntington Woods, MI), 1980.

Cujo (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1981, published in limited edition, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 1981.

Pet Sematary (also see below), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1983.

Christine (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1983, published in a limited edition, illustrated by Stephen Gervais, Donald M. Grant (Hampton Falls, NH), 1983.

(With Peter Straub) The Talisman, Viking Press/Putnam (New York, NY), 1984, published in a limited two-volume edition, Donald M. Grant (Hampton Falls, NH), 1984.

The Eyes of the Dragon (young adult), limited edition, illustrated by Kenneth R. Linkhauser, Philtrum Press, 1984, new edition, illustrated by David Palladini, Viking (New York, NY), 1987.

It (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1986.

Misery (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1987.

The Tommyknockers (also see below), Putnam (New York, NY), 1987.

The Dark Half (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1989.

Needful Things (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

Gerald's Game, Viking (New York, NY), 1992.

Dolores Claiborne (also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1993.

Insomnia, Viking (New York, NY), 1994.

Rose Madder, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.

The Green Mile (serialized novel), Signet (New York, NY), Chapter 1, "The Two Dead Girls" (also see below), Chapter 2, "The Mouse on the Mile," Chapter 3, "Coffey's Hands," Chapter 4, "The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix," Chapter 5, "Night Journey," Chapter 6, "Coffey on the Mile," 1996, published in one volume as The Green Mile: A Novel in Six Parts, Plume (New York, NY), 1997.

Desperation, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

(And author of foreword) The Two Dead Girls, Signet (New York, NY), 1996.

Bag of Bones, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

Hearts in Atlantis, G. K. Hall (Thorndike, ME), 1999.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Scribner (New York, NY), 1999, published as a pop-up book, illustrated by Alan Gingman, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004

Dreamcatcher, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Peter Straub) Black House (sequel to The Talisman), Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

(Editor) Ridley Pearson, The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life as Rose Red, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2001.

From a Buick 8, Scribner's (New York, NY), 2002.

(Under name Eleanor Druse) The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

Also author of early unpublished novels "Sword in the Darkness" (also referred to as "Babylon Here"), "The Cannibals," and "Blaze," a reworking of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.


The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (also see below), Amereon Ltd. (New York, NY), 1976, published as The Gunslinger, New American Library (New York, NY), 1988, published in limited edition, illustrated by Michael Whelan, Donald M. Grant (Hampton Falls, NH), 1982, second limited edition, 1984, revised and expanded edition, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.

The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (also see below), illustrated by Phil Hale, New American Library (New York, NY), 1989, with new introduction, Plume (New York, NY), 2003.

The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (also see below), illustrated by Ned Dameron, Donald M. Grant (Hampton Falls, NH), 1991.

The Dark Tower Trilogy: The Gunslinger; The Drawing of the Three; The Waste Lands (box set), New American Library (New York, NY), 1993.

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, Plume (New York, NY), 1997.

The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, Plume (New York, NY), 2003.

The Dark Tower VI: The Songs of Susannah, Donald M. Grant (Hampton Falls, NH), 2004.

The Dark Tower VII, Scribner (New York, NY), 2004.


Rage (also see below), New American Library/Signet (New York, NY), 1977.

The Long Walk (also see below), New American Library/Signet (New York, NY), 1979.

Roadwork: A Novel of the First Energy Crisis (also see below) New American Library/Signet (New York, NY), 1981.

The Running Man (also see below), New American Library/Signet (New York, NY), 1982.

Thinner, New American Library (New York, NY), 1984.

The Regulators, Dutton (New York, NY), 1996.


(Under name Steve King) The Star Invaders (privately printed), Triad, Inc./Gaslight Books (Durham, ME), 1964.

Night Shift (also see below), introduction by John D. MacDonald, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1978, published as Night Shift: Excursions into Horror, New American Library/Signet (New York, NY), 1979.

Different Seasons (novellas; contains Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption: Hope Springs Eternal [also see below]; Apt Pupil: Summer of Corruption; The Body: Fall from Innocence; and The Breathing Method: A Winter's Tale), Viking (New York, NY), 1982.

Cycle of the Werewolf (novella; also see below), illustrated by Berni Wrightson, limited portfolio edition published with "Berni Wrightson: An Appreciation," Land of Enchantment (Westland, MI), 1983, enlarged edition including King's screenplay adaptation published as Stephen King's Silver Bullet, New American Library/Signet (New York, NY), 1985.

Stephen King's Skeleton Crew (story collection), illustrated by J. K. Potter, Viking (New York, NY), 1985.

My Pretty Pony, illustrated by Barbara Kruger, Knopf (New York, NY), 1989.

Four Past Midnight (contains "The Langoliers," "Secret Window, Secret Garden," "The Library Policeman," and "The Sun Dog"; also see below), Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Viking (New York, NY), 1993.

Everything's Eventual: Fourteen Dark Tales, Scribner (New York, NY), 2002.

Also author of short stories "Slade" (a western), "The Man in the Black Suit," 1996, and, under pseudonym John Swithen, "The Fifth Quarter." Contributor of short story "Squad D" to Harlan Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions; contributor of short story "Autopsy Room Four" to Robert Bloch's Psychos, edited by Robert Bloch. Also contributor to anthologies and collections, including The Year's Finest Fantasy, edited by Terry Carr, Putnam (New York, NY), 1978; Shadows, edited by Charles L. Grant, Doubleday (New York, NY), Volume 1, 1978, Volume 4, 1981; New Terrors, edited by Ramsey Campbell, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1982; World Fantasy Convention 1983, edited by Robert Weinberg, Weird Tales Ltd., 1983; The Writer's Handbook, edited by Sylvia K. Burack, Writer, Inc. (Boston, MA), 1984; The Dark Descent, edited by David G. Hartwell, Doherty Associates, 1987; Prime Evil: New Stories by the Masters of Modern Horror, by Douglas E. Winter, New American Library (New York, NY), 1988; Dark Visions, Gollancz (London), 1989; and Dark Love: Twenty-two All-Original Tales of Lust and Obsession, edited by Nancy Collins, Edward E. Kramer, and Martin Harry Greenberg, ROC (New York, NY), 1995.


Stephen King's Creep Show: A George A. Romero Film (based on King's stories "Father's Day," "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" [previously published as "Weeds"], "The Crate," and "They're Creeping up on You"; released by Warner Bros. as Creepshow, 1982), illustrated by Berni Wrightson and Michele Wrightson, New American Library (New York, NY), 1982.

Cat's Eye (based on King's stories "Quitters, Inc.," "The Ledge," and "The General"), Metro Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1984.

Stephen King's Silver Bullet (based on and published with King's novella Cycle of the Werewolf; released by Paramount Pictures/Dino de Laurentiis's North Carolina Film Corp., 1985), illustrated by Berni Wrightson, New American Library/Signet (New York, NY), 1985.

(And director) Maximum Overdrive (based on King's stories "The Mangler," "Trucks," and "The Lawnmower Man"; released by Dino de Laurentiis's North Carolina Film Corp., 1986), New American Library (New York, NY), 1986.

Pet Sematary (based on King's novel of the same title), Laurel Production, 1989.

Stephen King's Sleepwalkers, Columbia, 1992.

(Author of introduction) Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption: The Shooting Script, Newmarket Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Storm of the Century (also see below), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(Author of introductions with William Goldman and Lawrence Kasdan) William Goldman and Lawrence Kasdan, Dreamcatcher: The Shooting Script, Newmarket Press (New York, NY), 2003.


Stephen King's Golden Years, CBS-TV, 1991.

(And executive producer) Stephen King's The Stand (based on King's novel The Stand), ABC-TV, 1994.

(With Chris Carter) Chinga, (episode of The X-Files,) Fox-TV, 1998.

Storm of the Century, ABC-TV, 1999.

Rose Red (also see below), ABC-TV, 2001.

Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, ABC-TV, 2004.

Desperation, USA, 2004.

Also author of Battleground (based on short story of same title; optioned by Martin Poll Productions for NBC-TV), and "Sorry, Right Number," for television series Tales from the Dark Side, 1987.


Another Quarter Mile: Poetry, Dorrance (Philadelphia, PA), 1979.

Stephen King (contains The Shining, 'Salem's Lot, Night Shift, and Carrie), W. S. Heinemann/Octopus Books (London, England), 1981.

Stephen King's Danse Macabre (nonfiction), Everest House (New York, NY), 1981.

The Plant (privately published episodes of a comic horror novel in progress), Philtrum Press (Bangor, ME), Part 1, 1982, Part 2, 1983, Part 3, 1985.

Black Magic and Music: A Novelist's Perspective on Bangor (pamphlet), Bangor Historical Society (Bangor, ME), 1983.

(And author of introduction) The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels (contains Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, and The Running Man), New American Library (New York, NY), 1985.

Dolan's Cadillac, Lord John Press (Northridge, CA), 1989.

Stephen King (contains Desperation and The Regulators) Signet (New York, NY), 1997.

Stephen King's Latest (contains Dolores Claiborne, Insomnia and Rose Madder) Signet (New York, NY), 1997.


Nightmares in the Sky: Gargoyles and Grotesques (nonfiction), photographs by F. Stop FitzGerald, Viking (New York, NY), 1988.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Scribner (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Stewart O'Nan) Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season, Thorndike Press (Waterville, ME), 2005.

Author of e-book The Plant, and "Riding the Bullet," 2000. Author of weekly column "King's Garbage Truck" for Maine Campus, 1969–70, and of monthly book review column for Adelina, 1980. Contributor of short fiction and poetry to numerous magazines, including Art, Castle Rock: The Stephen King Newsletter, Cavalier, Comics Review, Cosmopolitan, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Gallery, Great Stories from Twilight Zone Magazine, Heavy Metal, Ladies' Home Journal, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Maine, Maine Review, Marshroots, Marvel comics, Moth, Omni, Onan, Playboy, Redbook, Reflections, Rolling Stone, Science-Fiction Digest, Startling Mystery Stories, Terrors, Twilight Zone, Ubris, Whisper, and Yankee. Contributor of book reviews to the New York Times Book Review.

Most of King's papers are housed in the special collection of the Folger Library at the University of Maine at Orono.


Carrie was adapted for film by Lawrence D. Cohen, directed by Brian De Palma, United Artist, 1976, and was also produced as a Broadway musical in 1988 by Cohen and Michael Gore, developed in England by the Royal Shakespeare Company, featuring Betty Buckley; 'Salem's Lot was produced as a television miniseries in 1979 by Warner Brothers, teleplay by Paul Monash, featuring David Soul and James Mason, and was adapted for the cable channel TNT in 2004, with a teleplay by Peter Filardi and direction by Mikael Salomon; The Shining was filmed in 1980 by Warner Brothers/Hawks Films, screenplay by director Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, and was filmed for television in 1997 by Warner Bros., directed by Mick Garris, starring Rebecca De Mornay, Steven Weber, Courtland Mead, and Melvin Van Peebles; Cujo was filmed in 1983 by Warner Communications/Taft Entertainment, screenplay by Don Carlos Dunaway and Lauren Currier, featuring Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro; The Dead Zone was filmed in 1983 by Paramount Pictures, screenplay by Jeffrey Boam, starring Christopher Walken, and was adapted as a cable television series starring Anthony Michael Hall by USA Network, beginning 2002; Christine was filmed in 1983 by Columbia Pictures, screenplay by Bill Phillips; Firestarter was produced in 1984 by Frank Capra, Jr., for Universal Pictures in association with Dino de Laurentiis, screenplay by Stanley Mann, featuring David Keith and Drew Barrymore; Stand by Me (based on King's novella The Body) was filmed in 1986 by Columbia Pictures, screenplay by Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans, directed by Rob Reiner; The Running Man was filmed in 1987 by Taft Entertainment/Barish Productions, screenplay by Steven E. de Souza, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; Misery was produced in 1990 by Columbia, directed by Reiner, screenplay by William Goldman, starring James Caan and Kathy Bates; Graveyard Shift was filmed in 1990 by Paramount, directed by Ralph S. Singleton, adapted by John Esposito; Stephen King's It was filmed as a television mini-series by ABC-TV in 1990; The Dark Half was filmed in 1993 by Orion, written and directed by George A. Romero, featuring Timothy Hutton and Amy Madigan; Needful Things was filmed in 1993 by Columbia/Castle Rock, adapted by W. D. Richter and Lawrence Cohen, directed by Fraser C. Heston, starring Max Von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, and Amanda Plummer; The Tommyknockers was filmed as a television mini-series by ABC-TV in 1993; The Shawshank Redemption, based on King's novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption: Hope Springs Eternal, was filmed in 1994 by Columbia, written and directed by Frank Darabont, featuring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman; Dolores Claiborne was filmed in 1995 by Columbia; Thinner was filmed by Paramount in 1996, directed by Dom Holland, starring Robert John Burke, Joe Mantegna, Lucinda Jenney, and Michael Constantine; Night Flier was filmed by New Amsterdam Entertainment/Stardust International/Medusa Film in 1997, directed by Mark Pavia, starring Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan, and Michael H. Moss; Apt Pupil was filmed in 1998 by TriStar Pictures, directed by Bryan Singer, starring David Schwimmer, Ian McKellen, and Brad Renfro; The Green Mile was filmed in 1999 by Castle Rock, adapted and directed by Frank Darabont, starring Tom Hanks; Hearts in Atlantis was filmed in 2001 by Castle Rock, directed by Scott Hicks, screenplay written by William Goldman, starring Anthony Hopkins; Dreamcatcher was filmed in 2003 by Warner Bros./Castle Rock Entertainment, directed by Lawrence Kasdan, written by William Goldman, starring Morgan Freeman. Several of King's short stories have also been adapted for the screen, including The Boogeyman, filmed by Tantalus in 1982 and 1984 in association with the New York University School of Undergraduate Film, screenplay by producer-director Jeffrey C. Schiro; The Woman in the Room, filmed in 1983 by Darkwoods, screenplay by director Frank Darabont, broadcast on public television in Los Angeles, 1985 (released with The Boogeyman on videocassette as Two Mini-Features from Stephen King's Nightshift Collection by Granite Entertainment Group, 1985); Children of the Corn, produced in 1984 by Donald P. Borchers and Terrence Kirby for New World Pictures, screenplay by George Goldsmith; The Word Processor (based on King's "The Word Processor of the Gods"), produced by Romero and Richard Rubenstein for Laurel Productions, 1984, teleplay by Michael Dowell, broadcast in 1985 on Tales from the Darkside series (released on videocassette by Laurel Entertainment, Inc., 1985); Gramma, filmed by CBS-TV in 1985, teleplay by Harlan Ellison, broadcast in 1986 on The Twilight Zone series; Creepshow 2 (based on "The Raft" and unpublished stories "Old Chief Wood'nhead" and "The Hitchhiker"), filmed in 1987 by New World Pictures, screenplay by Romero; Sometimes They Come Back, filmed by CBS-TV in 1987; "The Cat from Hell" included in three-segment anthology film Tales from the Darkside—The Movie, produced by Laurel Productions, 1990; The Lawnmower Man, written by director Brett Leonard and Gimel Everett for New Line Cinema, 1992; The Mangler, filmed by New Line Cinema, 1995; and The Langoliers, filmed as a television mini-series by ABC-TV, 1995; "Secret Window, Secret Garden" filmed by Columbia as Secret Window, written and directed by David Koepp, 2004; "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away" adapted as a short film by James Renner. Film rights to "1408," from Everything's Eventual, was optioned by Dimension Films.


Continuing the legacy of American writers Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry James, and H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King is perhaps the most famous horror writer of his generation. He is known for his ability to transform the ordinary and everyday into the horrific, a talent that is exhibited in books such as Christine, about a car; Cujo, about a dog; Carrie, about a misunderstood teen; and 'Salem's Lot, about the ghostly, vacant house on the hill that exists in every town and is the stuff of neighborhood legend and childish nightmare. As Atlantic Monthly contributor Lloyd Rose wrote, "King takes ordinary emotional situations—marital stress, infidelity, peer-group-acceptance worries—and translates them into violent tales of vampires and ghosts. He writes supernatural soap operas." While some critics have dismissed King's work as genre fiction, others recognize the skill and sensitivity with which King taps our collective unconscious; his work was duly honored in 2003 when he received the National Book Award Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

During King's teen years growing up in Maine, writing was a powerful diversion, and science-fiction and adventure stories comprised his first literary efforts. Penning his first story at age seven, he began submitting short fiction to magazines at age twelve, and published his first story by the time he was eighteen. In high school he authored a small, satiric newspaper titled "The Village Vomit"; in college he penned a popular and eclectic series of columns under the heading "King's Garbage Truck." He also started writing the novels he eventually published under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman—novels that focus more on elements of human alienation and brutality than supernatural horror. After graduation, King supplemented his teaching salary with various odd jobs and by selling stories to men's magazines. Searching for a form of his own, and responding to a friend's challenge to break his writing out of the machismo mold and move to longer fiction, King wrote the manuscript that was eventually published as Carrie. When the novel was marketed by its publisher in the horror genre, and went on to become a best seller as well as a feature film, King's course as a novelist was firmly set.

Like the Maine settings that are characteristic of the author's work, Death figures strongly in King's novels and short fiction. Interestingly, although his novels are geared toward older readers, King's central characters are often children or adolescents, and the empowerment of estranged young people is a theme that recurs throughout his fiction. "If Stephen King's kids have one thing in common," declared Robert Cormier in the Washington Post Book World, "it's the fact that they all are losers. In a way, all children are losers, of course—how can they be winners with that terrifying adult world stacked against them?" Cormier makes a valid point: Carrie is about a persecuted teenaged girl, while an alienated teenaged boy is the main character in King's Christine. In The Shining and Firestarter, King's young characters are marked as different through the powers they possess and by those who want to manipulate them: evil supernatural forces in The Shining, and the U.S. Government in Firestarter. Children also figure prominently, although not always as victims, in 'Salem's Lot, It, The Tommyknockers, Pet Sematary, The Eyes of the Dragon, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and The Talisman.

Many of King's novels are considered classics within the horror genre, and have become part of modern America's cultural fabric through both King's books and the popular film adaptations that have been made from them. As critics note, despite King's extreme popularity, his more recent works reflect the same high caliber of writing and stylistic experimentation as did his early work. In Desperation, for example, a group of strangers drive into Desperation, Nevada, where they encounter a malign spirit, or Tak, in the body of police officer Collie Entragian. The survivors of this apocalyptic novel are few, but include David Carver, an eleven-year-old boy who talks to God, and John Edward Marinville, an alcoholic novelist. Robert Polito, writing for the New York Times, noted that "King's peculiar knack as a novelist is to strip away much of the complexity and nearly all of the art from a terrifying vision of an unknowable universe ruled by a limited, perhaps evil God and insinuate that Gnosticism into the rituals and commodities of everyday America." Mark Harris remarked in Entertainment Weekly that King "hasn't been this intent on scaring readers—or been this successful at it—since The Stand," a terrifying read about a viral outbreak that kills most of the population of Earth.

Set in the Deep South in 1932, The Green Mile—a prison expression for death row—begins with the death of twin girls and the conviction of John Coffey for their murder. Block superintendent Paul Edgecombe, who narrates the story years later from his nursing home in Georgia, slowly unfolds the story of the mysterious Coffey, a man with no past and with a gift for healing. An Entertainment Weekly reviewer called the book a novel "that's as hauntingly touching as it is just plain haunted." The Green Mile captured the imagination of both readers and critics, and was adapted as a popular feature film.

Bag of Bone tells of a writer struggling with both his grief for the death of his wife and writer's block while living in a haunted cabin. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, published in 1999 and a short work by King's standards, centers on a nine-year-old girl from a broken home who gets lost in the Maine woods for two weeks. She has her radio with her, and survives her ordeal by listening to Boston Red Sox baseball games on her Walkman and imagining conversations with her hero, Red Sox relief pitcher Tom Gordon.

Called by Booklist contributor Ray Olson a "massive, postapocalyptic, chivalrized western," King's "Dark Tower" series encompasses seven illustrated novels published from 1982 and 2004 that feature Roland the gunslinger and his efforts to save multiple worlds from the Crimson King and the powers of Chaos. Roland, whose course of right action is mapped by The Beam, is accompanied by a small band of ragtag friends, all of whom encounter a host of adventures and challenges in both late twentieth-century Earth and King's alternate universe, all while moving along their intended path: to save the world from Evil by reaching the Dark Tower, the place where time and space meet. In a surprise for fans, King introduces himself as a character in the sixth installment, a move a Publishers Weekly reviewer called "gutsy." While commenting that "there's no denying the ingenuity with which King paints a candid picture of himself." Reviewing the final volume of the series, The Dark Tower, Library Journal reviewer Mary McNichol wrote that the series "resonates with the ancient fundamentals of story-telling."

King undertook his own epic journey of sorts beginning in 1999, along the road to physical recovery. Struck by a van while walking alongside a road near his home in Maine, the author sustained injuries to his spine, hip, ribs, and right leg. One of his broken ribs punctured a lung, and King nearly died. Fortunately, he overcame these injuries and began a slow progress toward recovery, cheered by countless cards and letters from his fans. Bedriden for a lengthy period, he began experimenting with e-publishing, and has gone on to self-publish several works on his Web site. Three years after the accident, in 2002, he announced his retirement from publishing in the mainstream press.

Just prior to announcing his retirement, King produced On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, which serves as both a writer's manual and autobiography. In addition to King's advice on crafting fiction, the author chronicles his childhood, his rise to fame, his struggles with addiction, and the horrific accident that almost ended his life. "King's writing about his own alcoholism and cocaine abuse," noted John Mark Eberhart in the Kansas City Star, "is among the best and most hon-
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est prose of his career." Similarly, Jack Harville reported in the Charlotte Observer that "the closing piece describes King's accident and rehabilitation. The description is harrowing, and the rehab involves both physical and emotional recovery. It is beautifully told in a narrative style that would have gained [noted grammar gurus] Strunk and White's approval."

Prior to his retirement King wrote daily, exempting only Christmas, the Fourth of July, and his birthday. He enjoys working on two things simultaneously, beginning his day early with a two-or three-mile walk: "What I'm working on in the morning is what I'm working on," he said in a panel discussion at the 1980 World Fantasy Convention, reprinted in Bare Bones. He devoted his afternoon hours to rewriting. Despite chronic headaches, occasional insomnia, and even a fear of writer's block, he continued produced six pages daily; "And that's like engraved in stone," he told Joyce Lynch Dewes Moore in Mystery. Despite retiring, the author did not see much reduction in his writing time.

Despite the fact that his books have been marketed to adult readers, King's focus on story and psychological rather than graphic violence has made his books suitable for teen readers. As he wrote in his Danse Macabre, children are "better able to deal with fantasy and terror than their elders are." In an interview for High Times, he marveled at the resilience of a child's mind and the inexplicable, yet seemingly harmless, attraction of children to nightmare-inducing stories: "We start kids off on things like 'Hansel and Gretel,' which features child abandonment, kidnaping, attempted murder, forcible detention, cannibalism, and finally murder by cremation. And the kids love it." Adults are capable of distinguishing between fantasy and reality, but in the process of growing up, laments King in Danse Macabre, they develop "a good case of mental tunnel vision and a gradual ossification of the imaginative faculty"; thus, King explains, he sees the central the task of the fantasy or horror writer as enabling an adult reader to become, "for a little while, a child again."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Badley, Linda, Writing Horror and the Body: The Fiction of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Anne Rice, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1996.

Beahm, George W., The Stephen King Story, revised and updated edition, Andrews & McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1992.

Beahm, George W., editor, The Stephen King Companion, Andrews & McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1989.

Blue, Tyson, Observations from the Terminator: Thoughts on Stephen King and Other Modern Masters of Horror Fiction, Borgo Press (San Bernardino, CA), 1995.

Collings, Michael R., Stephen King as Richard Bachman, Starmont House (Mercer Island, WA), 1985.

Collings, Michael R., The Works of Stephen King: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide, edited by Boden Clarke, Borgo Press (San Bernardino, CA), 1993.

Collings, Michael R., Scaring Us to Death: The Impact of Stephen King on Popular Culture, second edition, Borgo Press (San Bernardino, CA), 1995.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 12, 1980, Volume 26, 1983, Volume 37, 1985, Volume 61, 1990.

Davis, Jonathan P., Stephen King's America, Bowling Green State University Popular Press (Bowling Green, OH), 1994.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 143: American Novelists since World War II, Third Series, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1994.

Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1980, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1981.

Docherty, Brian, editor, American Horror Fiction: From Brockden Brown to Stephen King, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1990.

Hoppenstand, Gary, and Ray B. Browne, editors, The Gothic World of Stephen King: Landscape of Nightmares, Bowling Green State University Popular Press (Bowling Green, OH), 1987.

Keyishian, Amy, and Marjorie Keyishian, Stephen King, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 1995.

King, Stephen, Stephen King's Danse Macabre (nonfiction), Everest House (New York, NY), 1981.

Magistrale, Tony, editor, Landscape of Fear: Stephen King's American Gothic, Bowling Green State University Popular Press (Bowling Green, OH), 1988.

Magistrale, Tony, editor, A Casebook on "The Stand," Starmont House (Mercer Island, WA), 1992.

Magistrale, Tony, editor, The Dark Descent: Essays Defining Stephen King's Horrorscape, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1992.

Magistrale, Tony, Stephen King: The Second Decade—"Danse Macabre" to "The Dark Half," Twayne (New York, NY), 1992.

Platt, Charles, Dream Makers: The Uncommon Men and Women Who Write Science Fiction, Berkley (New York, NY), 1983.

Russell, Sharon A., Stephen King: A Critical Companion, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1996.

Saidman, Anne, Stephen King, Master of Horror, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 1992.

Schweitzer, Darrell, editor, Discovering Stephen King, Starmont House (Mercer Island, WA), 1985.

Short Story Criticism, Volume 17, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1995.

Underwood, Tim, and Chuck Miller, editors, Fear Itself: The Horror Fiction of Stephen King, Underwood-Miller, 1982.

Underwood, Tim, and Chuck Miller, editors, Kingdom of Fear: The World of Stephen King, Underwood-Miller, 1986.

Underwood, Tim, and Chuck Miller, editors, Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1988.

Underwood, Tim, and Chuck Miller, editors, Feast of Fear: Conversations with Stephen King, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1992.

Underwood, Tim, and Chuck Miller, editors, Fear Itself: The Early Works of Stephen King, foreword by King, introduction by Peter Straub, afterword by George A. Romero, Underwood-Miller, 1993.

Winter, Douglas E., Stephen King: The Art of Darkness, New American Library (New York, NY), 1984.


American Film, June, 1986.

Atlantic Monthly, September, 1986.

Book, November-December, Chris Barsanti, review of Wolves of the Calla, p. 75.

Booklist, July, 1999, Ray Olson, review of Hearts in Atlantis, p. 1893; May 1, 2004, Ray Olson, review of Song of Susannah, p. 1483; September 1, 2004, Ray Olson, review of The Dark Tower, p. 6.

Boston Globe, October 10, 1980; April 15, 1990, p. A1; May 16, 1990, p. 73; July 15, 1990, p. 71; September 11, 1990, p. 61; October 31, 1990, p. 25; November 17, 1990, p. 12; December 5, 1990, p. 73; July 16, 1991, p. 56; September 28, 1991, p. 9; November 22, 1991, p. 1; August 21, 1992, p. 21; August 30, 1992, p. 14; May 8, 1993, p. 21; May 24, 1993, p. 43; October 16, 1994, p. 14; May 13, 1995, p. 21.

Chicago Tribune, August 26, 1990, p. 3; October 29, 1990, p. 5; November 16, 1990, p. 1; November 30, 1990, p. C29; June 29, 1992, p. 3; November 18, 1992, p. 3; November 7, 1993, p. 9; October 26, 1994, p. 1; May 14, 1995, p. 5.

Chicago Tribune Magazine, October 27, 1985.

Christian Science Monitor, January 22, 1990, p. 13.

Detroit Free Press, November 12, 1982, Jack Matthes, interview with King.

Detroit News, September 26, 1979.

English Journal, January, 1979; February, 1980; January, 1983; December, 1983; December, 1984.

Entertainment Weekly, October 14, 1994, pp. 52-53; June 16, 1995, p. 54; March 22, 1996, p. 63; April 26, 1996, p. 49; May 31, 1996, p. 53; June 28, 1996, p. 98; August 2, 1996, p. 53; September 6, 1996, p. 67; October 4, 1996, p. 54; October 18, 1996, p. 75; December 27, 1996, p. 28; February 7, 1997, p. 111; April 11, 1997, p. 17; April 25, 1997, p. 52; November 28, 1997, p. 41; September 17, 1999, Tom De Haven, "King of 'Hearts': He May Be the Master of Horror, but Stephen King Is Also Adept at Capturing Everyday America," p. 72; September 27, 2002, Chris Nashawaty, "Stephen King Quits," p. 20; June 25, 2004, Gregory Kirschling, review of Song of Susannah, p. 172.

Esquire, November, 1984.

Fantasy Review, January, 1984.

Film Journal, April 12, 1982.

High Times, January, 1981; June, 1981.

Library Journal, March 1, 2004, Kristen L. Smith, review of Wolves of the Calla, p. 126; May 15, 2004, Nancy McNicol review of Song of Susannah, p. 115; September 15, 2004, Nancy McNichol, review of The Dark Tower, p. 49.

Locus, September, 1992, pp. 21-22, 67; November, 1992, pp. 19, 21; February, 1994, p. 39; October, 1994, pp. 27, 29.

Los Angeles Times, April 23, 1978; December 10, 1978; August 26, 1979; September 28, 1980; May 10, 1981; September 6, 1981; May 8, 1983; November 20, 1983; November 18, 1984; August 25, 1985; March 9, 1990, p. F16; October 29, 1990, p. F9; November 18, 1990, p. F6; November 30, 1990, p. F1; July 16, 1991, p. F1; May 28, 1992, p. E7; April 16, 1995, p. 28; November 7, 1997, p. D4.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, August 29, 1982; July 15, 1990, p. 12; June 9, 1991, p. 6; April 23, 1995, p. 14.

Maclean's, August 11, 1986.

Miami Herald, March 21, 2001, Rene Rodriguez, review of Dreamcatcher; March 27, 2002, Rene Rodriguez, review of Everything's Eventual.

Midwest Quarterly, spring, 2004, Tom Hansen, "Diabolical Dreaming in Stephen King's 'The Man in the Black Suit,'" p. 290.

Mystery, March, 1981.

New Republic, February 21, 1981.

New Statesman, September 15, 1995, p. 33.

Newsweek, August 31, 1981; May 2, 1983.

New Yorker, January 15, 1979; September 30, 1996, p. 78.

New York Review of Books, October 19, 1995, p. 54.

New York Times, March 1, 1977; August 14, 1981; August 11, 1982; April 12, 1983; October 21, 1983; November 8, 1984; June 11, 1985; April 4, 1987; January 25, 1988; June 17, 1990, p. 13; October 27, 1990, p. A12; November 16, 1990, p. C38; December 2, 1990, p. 19; June 3, 1991, p. C14; July 14, 1991, p. 25; October 2, 1991, p. C23; June 29, 1992, p. C13; November 16, 1992, p. C15; March 15, 1993, p. D6; June 27, 1993, p. 23; September 17, 1993, p. B8; April 24, 1995, p. C12; May 12, 1995, p. D18; June 26, 1995, p. C16; November 11, 1995, p. 39; April 7, 1996, p. E2; August 5, 1996, p. D7; October 26, 1996, 15; April 25, 1997, p. D22; October 27, 1997, p. C1; November 5, 1997, p. E3; November 7, 1997, pp. A30, D10; February 6, 1998, p. B10.

New York Times Book Review, May 26, 1974; October 24, 1976; February 20, 1977; March 26, 1978; February 4, 1979; September 23, 1979; May 11, 1980; May 10, 1981; September 27, 1981; August 29, 1982; April 3, 1983; November 6, 1983; November 4, 1984; June 9, 1985; February 22, 1987; December 6, 1987; May 13, 1990, p. 3; September 2, 1990, p. 21; September 29, 1991, pp. 13-14; August 16, 1992, p. 3; December 27, 1992, p. 15; October 24, 1993, p. 22; October 30, 1994, p. 24; March 24, 1995, p. C14; July 2, 1995, p. 11; October 20, 1996, p. 16.

New York Times Magazine, May 11, 1980.

Observer (Charlotte, NC), October 4, 2000, Jack Harville, review of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft; Salem Macknee, review of From a Buick 8.

Observer (London, England), October 1, 1995, p. 15.

People, March 7, 1977; December 29, 1980; January 5, 1981; May 18, 1981; January 28, 1985; fall, 1989; April 1, 1996, p. 38; October 7, 1996, p. 32; October 21, 1996, p. 16; April 28, 1997, p. 15; January 19, 1998, p. 45.

Publishers Weekly, January 17, 1977; May 11, 1984; March 13, 1996, p. 26; April 1, 1996, p. 22; May 13, 1996, p. 26; June 24, 1996, p. 43; August 5, 1996, p. 292; August 26, 1996, p. 34; September 9, 1996, p. 27; October 7, 1996, p. 20; April 7, 1997, p. 52; July 14, 1997, p. 65; October 27, 1997, p. 21; November 10, 1997, p. 10; April 19, 2004, review of Song of Susannah, p. 37; September 20, 3004, review of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, p. 62.

Saturday Review, September, 1981; November, 1984.

School Library Journal, November, 2004, John Peters, review of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, p. 148.

Science Fiction Chronicle, December, 1995; June, 1997, p. 43.

Star (Kansas City, MO), October 4, 2000, John Mark Eberhart, review of On Writing.

Time, August 30, 1982; July 1, 1985; October 6, 1986; December 7, 1992, p. 81; September 2, 1996, p. 60.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL) June 8, 1980.

Village Voice, April 29, 1981; October 23, 1984; March 3, 1987.

Voice Literary Supplement, September, 1982; November, 1985.

Wall Street Journal, July 7, 1992, p. B2; October 5, 1992, p. B3; November 7, 1997, p. B8.

Washington Post, August 26, 1979; April 9, 1985; May 8, 1987; October 29, 1990, p. B8; July 16, 1991, p. B1; April 13, 1992, p. C7; May 21, 1993, p. 16; May 27, 1993, p. D9; May 14, 1995, p. G1.

Washington Post Book World, May 26, 1974; October 1, 1978; August 26, 1980; April 12, 1981; August 22, 1982; March 23, 1983; October 2, 1983; November 13, 1983; June 16, 1985; August 26, 1990, p. 9; September 29, 1991, p. 9; October 31, 1991, p. C7; July 19, 1992, p. 7; December 13, 1992, p. 5; October 10, 1993, p. 4; October 9, 1994, p. 4; March 6, 1995, p. D6.


Stephen King Web site, http://www.stephenking.com (June 23, 2005).

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