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Johnny Gruelle was an American author and illustrator best known for his children’s series Raggedy Ann and Andy, as well as the very popular Mr. Twee Deedle cartoon. He was born December 24th, 1880 in Arcola, Illinois. Johnny Gruelle eventually created over forty Raggedy Ann and Andy books, all capturing his unique version of childhood.

Writer, poet, and playwright Gertrude Stein was born in 1874 to a Jewish family of German origin in Pennsylvania. In the 1920s, she moved to Paris, France, where she established a literary salon which became a house to renowned authors such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and artists Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. In her literary writings, Stein developed the stream of consciousness technique and made significant use of the concept of the subconscious. Stein died in Paris in 1946 and was buried there.

Katherine Mansfield, pseudonym of Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp was a New Zealand-born English master of the short story, who evolved a distinctive prose style with many overtones of poetry. Her delicate stories, focused upon psychological conflicts, have an obliqueness of narration and a subtlety of observation that reveal the influence of Anton Chekhov. She, in turn, had much influence on the development of the short story as a form of literature. She was born in 1888 in Wellington and left New Zealand at the age of 19 to establish herself in England as a writer. Her initial disillusion appears in the ill-humoured stories collected in In a German Pension (1911). Until 1914 she published stories in Rhythm and The Blue Review, edited by the critic and essayist John Middleton Murry, whom she married in 1918 after her divorce from George Bowden. The death of her soldier brother in 1915 shocked her into a recognition that she owed what she termed a sacred debt to him and to the remembered places of her native country. Prelude (1918) was a series of short stories beautifully evocative of her family memories of New Zealand. These, with others, were collected in Bliss (1920), which secured her reputation and is typical of her art. In the next two years Mansfield did her best work, achieving the height of her powers in The Garden Party (1922), which includes the classic “Daughters of the Late Colonel,” a subtle account of genteel frustration. The last five years of her life were shadowed by tuberculosis. She died in 1923 in France. Her final work (apart from unfinished material) was published posthumously in The Dove’s Nest (1923) and Something Childish (1924). From her papers, Murry edited the Journal (1954), and he also published with annotations her letters to him (1951). Also were published her collected letters (1984–2008) and Mansfield’s notebooks (1997).

Born in 1871 in Newark, New Jersey, author and poet Stephen Crane is considered to have influenced American literature, among others the writing of Ernest Hemingway. Crane grew up in a Methodist family and began writing at the age of four. As a journalist, he was sent to Cuba as a military correspondent, when the ship sank off the coast of Florida, an incident he has later depicted in his short story, “The Open Boat.” Later, he served as a military correspondent in Greece and then moved to England. Crane died in 1900 from tuberculosis, at the age of 28, at a sanatorium in Germany.

Idra Novey is an American novelist, poet, and translator. the author of the novel Ways to Dis­ap­pear, winner of the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize, the 2016 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her fiction and poetry have been translated into ten languages. She’s written for The New York Times, the LA Times, and NPR’s All Things Con­sid­ered. She’s also translated four books from Spanish and Portuguese, most recently Clarice Lispector’s novel The Pas­sion Accord­ing to G.H. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

*Photo: www.idranovey.com

 

One of the prominent English Romantic poets, George Gordon Byron, known as Lord Byron (1788-1824), also wrote in prose. “Fragment of a Novel,” for example, was first published in 1819 in “Mazeppa,” a volume of poems and short stories, and influenced the writing of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” as well as English vampire literature. Born to a family of the aristocracy, social criticism on his life of debauchery led Lord Byron to move to Italy, where he became acquainted with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and author Mary Shelley. Among his notable works of poetry is the epic poem “Don Juan,” written over a period of six years. As a supporter of the Greek liberation movement against the Turks, he arrived in Greece. Lord Byron died of Malaria in Mesolongi, Greece, at the age of 36. His body was transferred to England and was buried there.

“A very small child, and very untreated.” This is how Charles Dickens described himself as a child. Dickens was born in Victorian England in 1812 to a large, wealthy family. At the age of twelve, the family was imprisoned in a prison for families in debt. Young Dickens was sent to work in a factory to help and free his family. This childhood experience had a great influence on his future writings. As an adult, he became a journalist and continued to do so while writing and publishing his books. His debut novel, The Pickwick Papers, which was published in 1836 upon his marriage to Catherine Hogarth, excelled in unusual wit. Dickens and his wife had ten children, and while taking care of their young, Dickens’ most famous books were written and published, such as Oliver Twist and David Copperfield, which were known for their realistic, sensitive and humoristic style. Dickens is one of the most famous authors in the history of literature, and his writings have won dozens of adaptations for theater, film and television. In 1865 Dickens and his then partner, actress Ellen Ternan, were involved in a train accident, however were not harmed. Dickens died in 1870 and was buried in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.

Ringgold Wilmer Lardner was born in 1885 in a small town in Michigan. Shortly before World War I, after working in several small newspapers as a sports reporter, he began writing for the Chicago Tribune. Lardner continued to write on sports, but also served as political correspondent in the war front in France. Lardner also wrote satire, describing life in the United States and the European front of World War I, as well as skits, songs, and short plays. Friend to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the day-to-day themes in his writing, as well as its simple style, influenced the young Ernst Hemingway, who used the pen name “Ring Lardner” for his earliest publications. Lardner died in New York in 1933 from tuberculosis.

Montague Rhodes James, (1862-1936) was an English writer and scholar. He used the publication name M.R. James, and was a noted mediaeval scholar & provost of King’s College, Cambridge and of Eton College. He’s best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature. One of James’ most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings. Throughout the years, his stories were widely adapted to the stage, radio television and film.

Rob Doyle is an Irish writer. He was born in Dublin and holds a first-class honours degree in Philosophy and an MPhil in Psychoanalysis from Trinity College Dublin. His first novel, Here Are the Young Men, was published in 2014 and was chosen as a book of the year by the Irish Times, Independent, Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post, and was shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category for the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards. Doyle’s second book, This Is the Ritual, was published in January 2016 and was a book of the year in the New StatesmanSunday Times and Irish Times. His fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in The Guardian, Observer, Vice, Dublin Review, Irish Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Business Post, Stinging Fly, Gorse, Dalkey Archive’s Best European Fiction 2016 and elsewhere. Rob Doyle is editor of the Dalkey Archive’s Anthology of Irish Literature, due for publication in 2017. He played the lead role in Hit the North, a feature film due for release in 2017. He currently lives in Paris.

The Short Story Project C | The Short Story Project INC 2018

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