King, Stephen

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

King, Stephen

Stephen King, 1947–, American writer, b. Portland, Maine. Influenced by the 19th-century Gothic tradition, especially the works of Poe, King's fiction reveals the macabre and horrific potential of everyday situations and experiences. Noted for their cinematic style, many of his novels and stories have become films, some with screenplays by King, e.g., Pet Sematary (1989, film 1992), Carrie (1974, film 1976), The Shining (1977, film 1980), It (1986, film 2017), Misery (1987, film 1990), Needful Things (1991, film 1993), Dolores Claiborne (1992, film 1995), Dreamcatcher (2001, film 2003), and A Good Marriage (2010, film 2014). Other novels include Rose Madder (1995); Bag of Bones (1998); the fantasy series The Dark Tower (7 vol., 1982–2004); Cell (2006); Lisey's Story (2006); Duma Key (2008); Under the Dome (2009); the baseball-themed Blockade Billy (2010); the time-traveling 11/22/63 (2011); Doctor Sleep (2013, a sequel to The Shining); Revival (2014); the crime-fiction triology Mr. Mercedes (2014, winner of an Edgar award), Finders Keepers (2015), and End of Watch (2016); and Sleeping Beauties (2017), written by King and his son Owen. King experimented relatively early with electronic publishing; the novella Riding the Bullet (2000, film 2004) was the first mass-market e-book, and the novel The Plant was released in six installments on the Internet in 2000. His On Writing (2000) recounts his life, his craft, and a near-fatal accident. King's novels, short stories, screenplays, and essays have made him one of the world's best-selling authors.

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