"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Friday, August 26, 2011

How Stephen King Really Got That Way

I loved this article at Shelf Awareness about King and the bookmobile lady who gave him Lord of the Flies, due out in a new edition with his introduction:

"Do you have any stories about how kids really are?" She thought about it, then went to the section of the Bookmobile marked Adult Fiction, and pulled out a slim hardcover volume. "Try this, Stevie," she said. "And if anyone asks, tell them you found it yourself. Otherwise, I might get into trouble."

In On Writing, King mentions The Inheritors and Pincher Martin, also by Golding, both of which I read on his recommendation, and which are worth reading, even if not as compelling as Golding's more famous book. In The Inheritors, Golding imagines early human species interacting and competing. In Pincher Martin, a man has two lives, one with pinchers. Odd little book, but one which would almost certainly have gotten more attention if published today. I was happy to find both of these and I hereby pass on the recommendation.

As far as King's work, my favorites are Different Seasons, especially Apt Pupil, The Long Walk and The Stand. The Mist is a great story, too.

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