Stephen King is a well-known American author who was born in September 1947 to Donald Edwin King and Nellie Ruth King Pillsbury. He is married to Tabitha King and has two daughters. Stephen worked as an English tutor at Hampden Academy after graduating from the University of Maine, while also developing his literary and later television careers (Kahoud 333).
Stephen King is one of the greatest novelists, having written more than 50 best-selling foreign novels and selling over 350 million copies worldwide. Carrie was the first published novel, which was later adapted into a film by Brian De Palma shortly after its publication (Church 733). In 1977 Stephen’s novel, The Shining was set in a wintry ski resort that featured a paranormal child and a maniacal father, and this too was later turned into a film by Stephen King in 1980. As a result, this led to the birth of the Stephen King industry that now shows television programs and films that are more than 100 based on the works of the Stephen King.
To achieve the success in the writing industry, Stephen King faced so many obstacles and criticism from other authors who initially dismissed him as not a serious writer. Going beyond his critics, Stephen’s ability to write many genres such as horror, science fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy novels have made him an author of a great number of books and gave a right answer to critics who did not accept him as a serious writer (Hoglund 70). Stephen was motivated from the respected forebears literally and since then have written many books that have received awards such as The Man in the Black Suit; a homage to Hawthorne that describes a man meeting a devil while walking through the woods, the book won an O Henry award after publishing in New York 1994. After that, in 2002, Stephen’s work Everything’s Eventual was collected by New Yorker Magazine. Stephen was later in 1987 inspired by Lovecraft to write on science fiction novel, The Tommyknockers and many others works that are similar to other authors such as; George Saunders, Karen Joy Fowler and Karen Russell.
Stephen’s works have received recognition from the world such as the annual award by the US National Book Foundation by the America letters that was later criticized by Harold Bloom in 2003, terming it as a dumbing down process on the US cultural life. Bloom disregarded Stephen’s writings as penny dreadful and an inadequate writer about sentence-by-sentence who should not share anything near to renowned writers such as Edgar Allan Poe. However, Stephen collaborated with Peter Straub, a horrific writer, who has also edited Edgar Poe works, such as Poe’s Children.
Stephen’s story about the Man in Black Suit was inspired by a story of his friend’s grandfather who had encountered a devil while taking a walk across the woods and a recollection of old narratives by Gary, who escaped a devil by the fishing stream while was nine years old. On that particular day, Gary woke up after falling asleep in the woods to find a man in black suit pointy teeth and claw-like fingers in front of him (Truffin 176). The black man was scaring him with stories and threatening to eat him in the woods but he managed to escape and found his way back home. Stephen’s story of Man in Black suit is criticized by many for lack of authenticity and originality since it was a replicate of past narratives such as from Gary and his friend.
According to me, the works of Stephen Kings were tremendous since he has managed to transverse across all the aspects of life, from the storytelling basis and horror to science. It means that he understands the social aspect of literature and can address any issue that may arise within the facet. With versed topics, many readers engage with his works that are useful in many films across the world. However, I admire Stephen’s spirit of not standing on the path of the critics who were able of bringing him down but held firm and prospered in diverse aspects capturing the attention of many readers. These significant steps and energy taken by Stephen are living proofs of the critic’s notion of his lack of seriousness in writing by most authors such as Bloom. Stephens’ lack of specific genre to write upon makes him a trial and error writer who does not know what his target readers want. Through the diverse topics, he makes his work to lose relevancy to his potential readers who enjoy one specific subject.
Church, Stephen. “Stephen: The Reign of Anarchy.” History, vol. 101, no. 348, Dec. 2016, pp. 772-773. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/1468-229X.12283.
Höglund, Johan. “Cell, Stephen King and the Imperial Gothic.” Gothic Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 69-87. EBSCOhost, doi:10.7227/GS.17.2.5.
Kahoud, Dustin. “The Double-Edged Pen: Omnipotent Fantasies in the Creativity and Addictions of Stephen King.” Psychodynamic Practice, vol. 20, no. 4, Nov. 2014, pp. 328-339. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/14753634.2014.950065.
Truffin, Sherry R. “Stephen King’s Contemporary Classics: Reflections on the Modern Master of Horror.” Gothic Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 175-177. EBSCOhost, doi:10.7227/GS.17.2.11.