Ray Bradburypublished his first story in 1940 and was soon contributing widely to magazines. The Martian Chronicles (1950), which is generally accounted a science-fiction classic in its depiction of materialistic Earthmen exploiting and corrupting an idyllic Martian civilization. He wrote stage plays, television scripts, and several screenplays. In the 1970s Bradbury wrote several volumes of poetry, and in the 1970s and ’80s he concentrated on writing children’s stories and crime fiction. His short stories were published in more than 700 anthologies. In 2007 the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded Bradbury a Special Citation for his distinguished career.
Richard Connell was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1893. Connell was a popular author and journalist whose short stories were regularly published in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier's Weekly. His story, The Most Dangerous Game is his best remembered work. Connell produced a number of screenplays and movie scripts, receiving an Academy Awards nomination in 1942 for best original story in Meet John Doe. (americanliterature.com)
James Hurst grew up in North Carolina on a coastal farm. After attending North Carolina State College and serving in the Army during World War II, he studied singing and acting at Juilliard. Hoping for a career in opera, he went to Italy. After three years he abandoned his musical ambitions. Upon return to the States in 1951, he began a 34-year career in the international department of a large New York City Bank. "The Scarlet Ibis" first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in the July, 1960 issue and won the "Atlantic First" award that year. (goodreads.com)
Doris Lessing was born in Persia (present-day Iran) to British parents in 1919. Her family then moved to Southern Africa, where she spent her childhood on her father's farm in what was then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). When her second marriage ended in 1949, she moved to London, where her first novel, The Grass is Singing, was published in 1950. The book explores the complacency and shallowness of white colonial society in Southern Africa and established Lessing as a talented young novelist. She is now widely regarded as one of the most important post-war writers in English. Her novels, short stories and essays have focused on a wide range of twentieth-century issues and concerns, from the politics of race - which she confronted in her early novels set in Africa - to the politics of gender, which led to her adoption by the feminist movement, to the role of the family and the individual in society, explored in her space fiction of the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 2007, Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She died in 2013, aged 94.
Alfred Noyes was born Sept. 16, 1880, in Staffordshire, England. Noyes’ first volume of poems, The Loom of Years (1902), published while he was still at the University of Oxford, was followed by others that showed patriotic fervor and a love for the sea. He taught modern English literature at Princeton University in the United States from 1914 to 1923. (britannica.com)
Edgar Allan Poe was the second of three children born to traveling actors in Boston on January 19, 1809. Before he was three, both of his parents died of tuberculosis. Poe was sent to Richmond, VA, live with the wealthy merchant John Allan and his wife, while his siblings went to live with other families. In 1826, Poe left Richmond to attend the University of Virginia, but the miserly Allan had sent Poe to college with less than a third of the money he needed, and Poe soon took up gambling to raise money to pay his expenses. By the end of his first term Poe was so desperately poor that he burned his furniture to keep warm. Poe then returned to Richmond and visited the home of his fiancée Elmira Royster, only to discover that she had become engaged to another man. Broke and alone, Poe moved to Baltimore. It was there that Poe finally found his life’s work as a magazine writer. Poe soon developed a reputation as a fearless critic who not only attacked an author’s work but also insulted the author and the northern literary establishment. Poe targeted some of the most famous writers in the country. He also met, fell in love with, and eventually married Virginia Clemm. The relationship proved a happy one, and the family is said to have enjoyed singing together at night. However, he was dissatisfied with his low pay and lack of editorial control, so he moved to New York City. Tragedy struck in 1842 when Poe’s wife contracted tuberculosis, the disease that had already claimed Poe’s mother, brother, and foster mother. Virginia died in 1846. Poe died on October 7, 1849 at the age of forty. The exact cause of Poe’s death remains a mystery. (poemuseum.org)
Kurt Vonnegut grew up in Indianapolis in a well-to-do family. As a teenager, Vonnegut wrote for his high school newspaper. He went to Cornell University, where he majored in biochemistry before leaving in 1943 to enlist in the U.S. Air Force. Captured by the Germans during World War II, he was one of the survivors of the firebombing of Dresden, Germany, in February 1945. In the early 1950s, Vonnegut began publishing short stories. Many of them were concerned with technology and the future, which led some critics to classify Vonnegut as a science fiction writer, though he resisted the label. Although Vonnegut’s work had already gained a popular audience by the late 1960s, the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five; or, The Children’s Crusade cemented his reputation. Vonnegut was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1973. In 2010, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library opened in Indianapolis. (Encyclopedia Britannica) . "Harrison Bergeron" "Harrison Bergeron" - large print version