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John O'Hara

O'Hara, John, 1905–70, American novelist and short-story writer, b. Pottsville, Pa. He worked at a number of jobs and ultimately became a newspaperman before the appearance of his first novel, Appointment in Samarra (1934). The book, an immediate success, began O'Hara's long career as a highly commercial and popular writer. Among his other novels are Butterfield 8 (1935), Pal Joey (1940; musical comedy adaptation, 1941), A Rage to Live (1949), Ten North Frederick (1955), From the Terrace (1958), The Lockwood Concern (1965), and The Ewings (1972). O'Hara, who wove his tales around themes of class, sex, and booze, has been called a photographic, acid observer of American urban life. Some critics believe his best work is in his collections of short stories, many of which first appeared in the New Yorker; these include The Doctor's Son (1935), Hellbox (1947), Assembly (1961), The Cape Cod Lighter (1962), The Horse Knows the Way (1964), and Good Samaritan and Other Stories (1974).

See Selected Letters of John O'Hara (1978), ed. by M. J. Bruccoli; biographies by F. Farr (1973), M. J. Bruccoli (1975, repr. 1995), F. MacShane (1980), and G. Wolff (2003).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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  • O'Hara, John Myers - Author of "Songs of the Open", 1909; "The Poems of Sappho: An Interpretative Rendition into English", 1910; "Pagan Sonnets", 1910; "The Ebon Muse", 19
  • O'Hara, John Myers - Born at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Educated at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. Was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Chicago for twelve years,
  • O Sheel, Shaemas - Born at New York City, September 19, 1886. Educated at Columbia University. His volumes are: "The Blossomy Bough", 1911, and "The Light Feet of Goats"
  • Norton, Grace Fallow - Born at Northfield, Minnesota, October 29, 1876. She is the author of "The Little Gray Songs from St. Joseph's", 1912; "The Sister of the Wind", 1914;

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies