Michener: A Writer’s Journey

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9780806136998: Michener: A Writer’s Journey

James A. Michener was one of the most beloved storytellers of our time, captivating readers with sweeping historical plots that educated and entertained. In this first full-length biography of the private as well as the public Michener, Stephen J. May reveals how an aspiring writer became a best-selling novelist. It is the only book to draw on Michener’s complete papers as well as interviews with his friends and associates. The result conveys much about Michener never before revealed in print.

May follows the young Michener from an impoverished Pennsylvania childhood to the wartime Pacific, where he found inspiration for Tales of the South Pacific, a book that led to a string of best sellers, including The Source, Centennial, Chesapeake, and The Covenant. May provides insights into Michener’s personal life: his three marriages, his unique working methods, and his social and political views. He also reveals the author’s hypersensitivity to criticism, his egotism, and his failure on some occasions to acknowledge the contributions of his assistants.

Examining Michener’s body of writing in its biographical and cultural contexts, May describes the creation of each novel and assesses the book’s strengths and shortcomings. His close readings underscore Michener’s innovativeness in presenting mountains of historical and cultural research in an engaging literary form.

This probing biography establishes Michener’s place in twentieth-century letters as it offers an unprecedented view of the man behind the typewriter.

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From the Publisher:

Stephen J. May is the author of a literary biography of Zane Grey and Pilgrimage: A Journey through Colorado's History and Culture.

Valerie Hemingway, a former secretary to Ernest Hemingway and wife of his youngest son, is the author of Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways.

About the Author:

Stephen J. May is the author of a literary biography of Zane Grey. He resides in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

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May, Stephen J.; Hemingway, Valerie (foreword).
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Book Description University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 352 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. LITERARY STUDIES. How an aspiring writer came to produce a string of best-selling novels. James A. Michener was one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. In this full-length biography of both the private and the public Michener, Stephen J. May draws on Michener's complete papers as well as interviews with his friends and associates to reveal how an aspiring writer became a best-selling novelist. May follows the young Michener from an impoverished Pennsylvania childhood to the wartime Pacific, where he found inspiration for Tales of the South Pacific, a book that led to a string of other best sellers, including The Source, Centennial, Chesapeake, and The Covenant. Examining Michener's body of writing in its biographical and cultural contexts, May describes the creation of each novel and assesses the book's strengths and shortcomings. He also provides insight into Michener's personal life and unique working methods and explores the author's hypersensitivity to criticism, his egotism, and his failure on some occasions to acknowledge the contributions of his assistants. This probing biography establishes Michener's place in twentieth-century letters as it offers an unprecedented view of the man behind the typewriter. Stephen J. May is the author of a literary biography of Zane Grey and Pilgrimage: A Journey through Colorado's History and Culture. He resides in Craig, Colorado. Valerie Hemingway, a former secretary to Ernest Hemingway and wife of his youngest son, is the author of Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways. (Key Words: James Michener, Literary Studies, Literary Criticism, Stephen J. May, Valerie Hemingway, Biography). book. Bookseller Inventory # 65538X1

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