Stephen King 1947–
American novelist, short story writer, and scriptwriter.
King is primarily known for his modern Gothic novels in which supernatural events reflect psychological disturbances or moral problems. Critics praise King's ability to present aspects of American culture and vernacular. However, some feel that he is derivative in a field that too easily lends itself to imitation and cliché. King's work is a hybridization of the traditional horror tale, as written by Edgar Allan Poe, and the modern thriller, which capitalizes on trendy concerns such as parapsychology, telekinesis, and ESP.
King wrote his first novel, the popular culture classic Carrie, in 1974. Since then he has produced seven novels, two collections of short stories, an autobiography, and a screenplay. Among his recent novels is The Dead Zone, a thriller dealing with paranormal psychology. Different Seasons, a collection of four novellas, is King's bid for recognition as a more serious writer. Another recent addition to the King canon is the novel Christine, a tale of horror about a boy and his vintage car.
(See also CLC, Vol. 12; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 61-64; Something about the Author, Vol. 9; and Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1980.)