Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Although much of Paul George Vincent O’Shaughnessy Horgan’s work reflects the American Southwest and his Roman Catholic beliefs, his most important theme is the struggle of the human spirit toward enlightenment and love. He was born in Buffalo, New York, on August 1, 1903, the second of three children of Edward Daniel Horgan, an English-Irish newspaper publisher, and Rose Marie (Rohr) Horgan, whose ancestry was French-German. He absorbed the Roman Catholicism of his parents to such an extent that it became an important influence on how he thought about the world. Another important influence resulted from the family’s move to New Mexico in 1915 to alleviate Edward Horgan’s tuberculosis. When Paul arrived at Albuquerque and saw the Rio Grande, he felt like an explorer in a new land. Even though New Mexico had recently become a state, it still had the feel of frontier territory. Descendants of the Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans, and Americans who had civilized this tierra encantada (land of enchantment) made history alive for young Horgan, who also fell in love with the New Mexican landscape of mesas and mountains.
During adolescence, Horgan discovered that he had talents for music, art, acting, and writing. He attended the Albuquerque public schools, and in high school he was taught freshman English by Willa Cather’s sister. In 1920 he served...
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Biography (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
Paul George Vincent O’Shaughnessy Horgan was born in Buffalo, New York, on August 1, 1903. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his parents in 1915 and attended the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell until 1921, when he left to be at home when his father was dying. After working for a year at the Albuquerque Morning Journal, he moved to the East Coast in 1923 to study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He returned to Roswell in 1926 and accepted the job of librarian at the New Mexico Military Institute. He remained in Roswell until 1942 and wrote his first five novels. Horgan spent World War II in Washington, D.C., as chief of the U.S. Army Information Branch of the Information and Education Division of the War Department, where he supervised all the information that was sent to American troops all over the world. Horgan returned to New Mexico after the war and worked on his nonfiction, but after 1960 he became associated with Wesleyan University in different capacities, living and writing on the Wesleyan campus. He died in Middletown, Connecticut, in March of 1995.
(The entire section is 186 words.)