Tag Archives: Short Story

Poe, Edgar Allan

POE, EDGAR ALLAN (1809-1849). Edgar Allan Poe, best known for his tales of Gothic horror, was a writer of poetry, short and long fiction, an unfinished drama, criticism, literary theory, essays, and a “cosmological prose poem.” His more than seventy Continue reading & text links

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Vukelich, George

VUKELICH, GEORGE (1927-1995). “[I]t was good to be on the Great Lakes,” wrote George Vukelich in 1955 to the editor of the Milwaukee Journal, after a spell as an ore boat deckhand. This sentiment pervades much of his work, including Continue reading & text links

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Vollmann, William T.

VOLLMANN, WILLIAM T[ANNER]. (1959- ). William T. Vollmann’s very ambitious project is a seven-novel series entitled Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes, which interweaves history, myth and legend, imagination, illustrations, and personal travel experience to chronicle the “symbolic Continue reading & text links

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Updike, John

UPDIKE, JOHN [HOYER] (1932-2009). John Updike is the author of over fifteen novels and an impressive body of shorter fiction, poetry, and criticism, much of which has been published in The New Yorker. Born in Pennsylvania, he has lived on Continue reading & text links

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Theroux, Paul

THEROUX, PAUL [EDWARD] (1941- ). Paul Theroux was born in Medford, Massachusetts, and received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in 1963. Having taught in Malawi, Uganda, and Singapore, he is a prolific novelist and travel writer who divides Continue reading & text links

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Stoddard, Elizabeth

STODDARD, ELIZABETH [DREW BARSTOW] (1823-1902). Iconoclastic novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet, Elizabeth Stoddard was born in the coastal town of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, the daughter of its foremost shipbuilder and maritime merchant. Both the fluctuations of her father’s maritime Continue reading & text links

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Steinbeck, John

by Susan F. Beegel (2000) STEINBECK, JOHN [ERNST] (1902-1968). John Steinbeck, winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in literature, was born in Salinas, California. As a child, he divided his time between his family’s home in the rich agricultural land of Continue reading & text links

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Searls, Hank

SEARLS, HENRY HUNT “HANK,” JR. (1922-2017). Novelist and author of nonfiction and short fiction, Hank Searls was born in San Francisco 10 August 1922. Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1944 with the wartime-accelerated class of 1945, he remained Continue reading & text links

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Richard, Mark

RICHARD, MARK (1955- ). Author of the sea novel Fishboy (1993), Mark Richard (pronounced ree-SHARD) has been, at different times in his life, disc jockey, newspaperman, photographer, and private investigator. As a young man, Richard took time off from his Continue reading & text links

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Optic, Oliver (William T. Adams)

[ADAMS, WILLIAM TAYLOR], “OLIVER OPTIC” (1822-1897). Using the pen name “Oliver Optic,” William Taylor Adams spent twenty years as a teacher in Boston schools and wrote popular children’s fiction in the nineteenth century. The publication of The Boat Club: or, The Continue reading & text links

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Nemerov, Howard

NEMEROV, HOWARD [STANLEY] (1920-1991). Howard Nemerov was born in New York City and died in University City, Missouri. He served as a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force before joining the U.S. Air Force for the last two years Continue reading & text links

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Morrison, Toni

MORRISON, TONI (1931-2019). Toni Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorrain, Ohio. She was given the baptismal name of Chloe Anthony, and chose “Toni” as her nickname when a college student. She earned her BA in English at historically Continue reading & text links

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Mitchell, Joseph

MITCHELL, JOSEPH (1908-1996). Joseph Mitchell grew up in Fairmont, North Carolina, a farming town in the state’s coastal plains. In 1929 Mitchell moved to New York City and began his career working as a crime reporter and feature writer for Continue reading & text links

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Matthiessen, Peter

MATTHIESSEN, PETER (1927-2014). New York-born Peter Matthiessen has borne the double titles of author and naturalist since the beginning of his professional writing career. Son of an architect father who was also a trustee of the National Audubon Society, Matthiessen Continue reading & text links

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Lincoln, Joseph Crosby

LINCOLN, JOSEPH C[ROSBY]. (1870-1944). Joseph C. Lincoln, the descendant of a long line of a seafarers, was a prolific author of best-selling verses, stories, and novels that portrayed life along the shore of Cape Cod with nostalgia and humor. The Continue reading & text links

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Le Guin, Ursula K.

LE GUIN, URSULA K[ROEBER]. (1929-2018). Born in Berkeley, California, Ursula K. Le Guin earned her B.A. at Radcliffe College in 1951 and her M.A. in French and Renaissance literature at Columbia University in 1952. Author of over fifty books of Continue reading & text links

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Larcom, Lucy

LARCOM, LUCY (1824-1893). Lucy Larcom was a prolific and highly regarded writer of descriptive and religious verse, short fiction, and inspirational prose in the second half of the nineteenth century. Born on the Massachusetts North Shore in Beverly, she lived Continue reading & text links

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King, Stephen

KING, STEPHEN [EDWIN] (1947- ). Although Stephen King sets much of his best-selling fiction in Maine, the New England coastal state of his birth and residence, he rarely writes about the sea. King has written dozens of horror, fantasy, and Continue reading & text links

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Jones, Justin (“Harry Hazel”)

[JONES, JUSTIN] “HARRY HAZEL” (1814-1889). Justin Jones, who wrote under the pseudonym Harry Hazel, authored more than forty dime novels about Boston, war, life at sea, and other adventure. His career as a fiction writer covered the 1840s and 1850s, Continue reading & text links

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Jewett, Sarah Orne

JEWETT, SARAH ORNE (1849-1909). Sarah Orne Jewett was born and raised in South Berwick, Maine, a dwindling shipping and manufacturing center. As a girl she listened to her paternal grandfather’s tales of life as a sea captain, skirting the embargo Continue reading & text links

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Jennings Jr., John Edward (“Bates Baldwin”)

[JENNINGS, JOHN EDWARD, JR], “BATES BALDWIN” (1906-1973). John Edward Jennings Jr., historical novelist, was born in Brooklyn, New York. The son of a surgeon, he began his seafaring in 1925 as a foremast hand aboard a tramp steamer traveling in Continue reading & text links

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Irving, Washington

IRVING, WASHINGTON (1783-1859). The first American to succeed as a professional author, Washington Irving was born in New York City in the last year of the American Revolution. Although he is best known today as the author of “Rip Van Continue reading & text links

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Hughes, Langston

HUGHES, [JAMES MERCER] LANGSTON (1902-1967). Langston Hughes, the prolific African American writer whose work in multiple genres endeared him early in his career to the black American community and later to a broad, international readership, first prepared to set sail Continue reading & text links

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Hine, Ephraim Curtiss

HINE, EPHRAIM CURTISS (1818?-1853). Sailor and author raised in Genoa, New York, Ephraim Curtiss Hine is best known today as the model for the nautical poet Lemsford in Herman Melville’s novel White-Jacket (1850). Melville, who was Hine’s shipmate on the Continue reading & text links

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Hersey, John

HERSEY, JOHN [RICHARD] (1914-1993). The prolific author John Hersey was born in China and moved to the United States in 1925, when his family decided to return. He was educated at Yale and Cambridge Universities and served for a time Continue reading & text links

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Hemingway, Ernest Miller

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST MILLER (1899-1961). Ernest Hemingway, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (1952) and the Nobel Prize in literature (1954), grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Except when rough water forced them to go by train, he and his Continue reading & text links

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de Hartog, Jan

DE HARTOG, JAN (1914-2002). Born in Holland, Jan de Hartog ran off to sea when he was ten years old. Six years later he enrolled in Amsterdam Naval College and became a junior mate in the Dutch oceangoing tugboat service. Continue reading & text links

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Hall, Lawrence Sargent

HALL, LAWRENCE SARGENT (1915-1993). Lawrence Sargent Hall was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Following completion of his Ph.D. at Yale University in 1941, he served for four years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including three years of sea duty. Continue reading & text links

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Hale, Edward Everett

HALE, EDWARD EVERETT (1822-1909). Born in Boston, Edward Everett Hale belonged to an old New England family. His great-uncle, Captain Nathan Hale, uttered the memorable cry, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,” Continue reading & text links

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Hains, Thornton Jenkins (“Captain Mayn Clew Garnett”)

[HAINS, THORNTON JENKINS], “CAPTAIN MAYN CLEW GARNETT” (1866-1953). Named for his maternal grandfather, Admiral Thornton Jenkins, U.S.N., Thornton Jenkins Hains had a career of indefinite length as a working seaman and was licensed in both England and the United States Continue reading & text links

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Guterson, David S.

GUTERSON, DAVID S. (1956- ). Born in Seattle, and residing on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, David S. Guterson is well aware of the nuanced lives of his fellow islanders. His haunting novel Snow Falling on Cedars (1994) vividly captures Continue reading & text links

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Galloway, Les

GALLOWAY, LES [EDWARD WILLIAM] (1919-1990). A commercial fisherman for most of his life, Les Galloway also wrote fiction, publishing short sea stories in several periodicals. Of Great Spaces (1987), shared with Jerome Gold, collects and reprints five Galloway stories, the Continue reading & text links

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Gallery, Daniel V.

GALLERY, DANIEL V[INCENT]. (1901-1977). Admiral Daniel V. Gallery, termed a “true original” by his friend Herman Wouk, was a brilliant career naval officer who published widely both during and after his naval duty. A 1920 Naval Academy graduate, Gallery first Continue reading & text links

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Dunbar, Paul Laurence

DUNBAR, PAUL LAURENCE (1872-1906). Best known for the dialect poetry suggested by the titles of his four published volumes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, the son of former slaves, also wrote a number of short stories and novels. His interest in the Continue reading & text links

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Doner, Mary Frances

DONER, MARY FRANCES (1893-1985). Mary Frances Doner set many of her books near her birthplace, Port Huron, Michigan. She supplied around 250 short stories for pulp magazines early in her career and in the 1930s began producing novels and nonfiction, Continue reading & text links

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Davis, Richard Harding

DAVIS, RICHARD HARDING (1864-1916). Born in Philadelphia, Richard Harding Davis was the first child born to the journalist L. Clarke Davis and the fiction writer Rebecca Harding Davis. He soon followed in his parents’ footsteps as a newspaperman and later Continue reading & text links

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Cheever, John

CHEEVER, JOHN (1912-1982). John Cheever, a writer of predominantly short fiction, uses seaside cottages and beaches as backgrounds for many of his stories. Sometimes Cheever’s depiction of the sea is more significant, however, with references to the sea possessing curative, Continue reading & text links

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Carse, Robert

CARSE, ROBERT (1902-1971). A Great Lakes sailor at seventeen, Robert Carse later worked salt water, attaining the position of chief mate. He sailed most of the world and developed a reputation as an expert seaman and maritime historian. Carse claimed Continue reading & text links

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Briggs, Charles Frederick

BRIGGS, CHARLES FREDERICK (1804-1877). Born a Nantucket Yankee (his mother was a Coffin), Charles Frederick Briggs was a real sailor before he became a professional writer. Though he would later turn to the magazines to earn a living, Briggs began Continue reading & text links

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Bradbury, Ray

BRADBURY, RAY [DOUGLAS] (1920-2012). Ray Bradbury, prolific author of twenty story collections and eight novels evolving out of more than 340 published short stories, was born in Waukegan, Illinois. He has lived in Los Angeles since 1934. His work as Continue reading & text links

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Barth, John

BARTH, JOHN [SUMMONS] (1930- ). There is a great deal of water in the fiction of John Barth, as one would expect of a writer who was born in Cambridge on the eastern shore of Maryland, was educated at Johns Continue reading & text links

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Barker, Benjamin

BARKER, BENJAMIN (1817-18??). Beyond birth records in Salem, Massachusetts, the only documents that survive of Benjamin Barker are twenty short novels published under that name between 1845 and 1847 and one in 1855. Those with authors’ prefaces all indicate that Continue reading & text links

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Baldwin, Bates (John Edward Jennings, Jr.)

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Aldrich, Thomas Bailey

by Frank Rotsaert (2000) ALDRICH, THOMAS BAILEY (1836-1907). Thomas Bailey Aldrich, known chiefly as the author of The Story of a Bad Boy (1869), edited Every Saturday (1866-1874) and The Atlantic Monthly (1881-1890) and also wrote poems, short stories, and five novels. Born in Portsmouth, New Continue reading & text links

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Aiken, Conrad

[AIKEN, CONRAD POTTER], “SAMUEL JEAKE JR.” (1889-1973). A friend and contemporary of T. S. Eliot, Conrad Aiken divided his time between England and the United States before settling in Massachusetts in 1947. He used the pen name “Samuel Jeake Jr.” Continue reading & text links

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Adams, William Taylor (“Oliver Optic”)

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Adams, Bertram Martin

ADAMS, BERTRAM MARTIN [BILL ADAMS] ( 1879-1953 ). Bill Adams was born in England to American parents. He left college to go to sea at age seventeen in a career that lasted four or five years and logged seven passages Continue reading & text links

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