What is the life story of Stephen King?

A dusty box of fantasy horror fiction books that belonged to his father, who had left his family, turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Stephen King. The young author quickly devoured the entire set and hankered for more. Soon, he began writing his own stories and got started on the path to becoming one of the world's most acclaimed horror fiction authors.

Born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine, King worked as a high school English teacher for many years, before he found success as a writer. In 1974, his first published novel "Carrie", about a friendless girl, who uses her telekinetic powers to take revenge on those who bully her, became an instant bestseller and was adapted into a big budget Hollywood film a couple of years later. The works that followed - "Salem's Lot", "The Shining" and "IT cemented his reputation as a bestselling writer.

The mysterious Richard Bachman

Wanting to know if his books could sell without riding on their authors fame, King started writing a few books under the alias Richard Bachman in secret.

He adopted the alias for four books ("Rage", "The Long Walk", "Roadwork", and "The Running Man"). They remained relatively obscure and no one suspected that their author was one of the most well-known and successful writers of the 20th century!

But Brown a bookseller, who had read many of King's books, was surprised to see the similarities between the two writer's styles. He was shocked to read Bachman's latest book, "Thinner' as it read like a classic King! Intrigued, he dug up further to discover that it was indeed King who held the copyright to the title of one of Bachman's books. He wrote a letter to King's agent, informing him about his discovery. And that's how he blew the lid on what may have been the biggest literary ruse of the century! Following the controversy, King decided it was time to say goodbye to his pseudonym. He announced that Bachman had died from 'a cancer of the pseudonym.'

Oh really?

  • Before becoming a teacher, King worked at an industrial laundry, and later part-time as a high school janitor.
  • On June 19, 1999, King was hit by a van while walking along a road near his summer home in Maine. He had to undergo multiple surgeries to repair his broken leg and shattered hip.

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What is the life story of Robert Lawrence?

When he was nine years old, American author Robert Lawrence Stine found a typewriter in the attic of his house. Brushing off the cobwebs, he carried it over to his room and started typing out stories and jokes. Bending over the machine, he spent hours typing till his fingers became numb. His mother begged him to go outside and play, but he did not pay heed to her. Spooked? Don't be. This is not a horror story. Stine had simply fallen in love with writing - and he has been writing ever since. Over the last four decades, he has written over 300 children's books teeming with creatures of all kinds from ghosts and ghouls to vampires and demonic ventriloquist's dummies.

The write start

Born on October 8, 1943, in Ohio, Stine enjoyed reading and writing humour stories, but not horror. In fact, Stine did not believe in ghosts or any supernatural creatures, and never even thought of writing about them. He wrote dozens of humour books for kids under the name Jovial Bob Stine and created the humour magazine "Bananas", which ran for 72 issues between 1975 and 1984.

It was only in 1989 when he penned the "Fear Street" stories, which became extremely popular among young adults, that he turned his attention to horror writing. The success of the series presented Stine with an opportunity to write scary stories for seven to 12-year-olds, something not many authors had tried before.

The first four in the "Goosebumps" series did not sell at all. According to Stine's website, the books started gathering dust on the shelves. And just when he started to think that maybe the whole endeavour was a mistake, the sales picked up. Soon, "Goosebumps" became a hit turning Stine into an international celebrity.

F for "Fear Street"

The "Fear Street" series ran for a decade from 1989 to 1999, as Stine stopped writing the series after "Fear Street Seniors". The entire series takes place in the fictitious town of Shadyside and features average teenagers who encounter malignant, sometimes paranormal, adversaries. While some of the Fear Street novels have paranormal elements, such as ghosts, others are simply murder mysteries. These books are far more frightful than the "Goosebumps books.

Sleep with your lights on!

While "Fear Street" is meant for teen readers, "Goosebumps" has been written for a preteen audience. The "Goosebumps" series consists of as many as 62 books, but they can be read in any order. These tales do not focus on adults finding ways to fight off monsters. Instead, children and teenagers are the main characters.

What makes "Goosebumps" fun is the unique mix of horror and humour. These eerie tales are not meant to be taken too seriously. Some of the stories will have you rolling on the floor laughing, while others will unleash your imagination. For instance, in "Say Cheese and Die" saga, a kid finds a family of skeletons doing mundane, everyday activities. These books also contain valuable life lessons for kids. The stories teach us the importance of standing up for what's right and facing our fears. Stories such as "Be Careful What You Wish For..." tell us to not take our lives for granted and to appreciate our flaws.

OH, REALLY?

  • To create an eerie atmosphere while he is writing, Stine keeps a mask, a skeleton and a three-foot-long cockroach in his writing studio.
  • The Goosebumps Movie", starring Jack Black as RL Stine, was released in 2015.
  • In 2014, Stine came out with his first picture book, titled "Little Shop of Monsters Marc Brown of "Arthur fame did the illustrations.

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What is the life story of the author Dante Alighieri?

Dante Alighiens duly remembered as the author of the Dane Comody and as the father of the Italian language. On the Mch Anniversary of his death (around September 13-14th, 1321) we list five things you need to know about a titan of world literature.

Known as the Father of the Italian language"

Dante is credited with helping create the Italian language by  using the Tuscan vernacular of his time-rather than Latin-to write his masterpiece. The Divine Comedy originally called simply Comedy is an imaginary journey through hell purgatory and heaven published in several stages in the early 14th century, its popularity led other medieval Italian authors, such as Petrarch and boccaccia to also write in the vermacular, laying the literary foundations of Italian.

On par with Shakespeare

The Diviine Comedy is a poem, a personal tale of redemption a treaty on human virtue, as well as one of the most influential pieces of science fiction British poet T.S. Eliot famously said: "Dante and Shakespeare divide the modem world between them there is no third."

Dante in popular culture

Generations of writers painters sculptors musicians filmmakers and cartoonists have been inspired by the Divine Comedy, particularly the "inferno" portion. These include everyone from Sandro William Blake Botticelli Salvador Dali and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, to the creators of X-Men comic books and novelist Dan Brown.

Se7en and Dante

The "Divine Comedy" was also a key inspiration for Oscar-nominated thriller "Se7en", for a popular video game ("Dante's Infemo"), while Dante is quoted in popular TV series such as "Mad Men".

Durante, but call me Dante

Dante is usually known only by his first name, which is a diminutive of “Durante”. He was born in Florence in 1265, exiled in 1302, and he died in Ravenna, on Italy’s eastern Adriatic coast, on September 13 or 14 1321.

Hailing from a wealthy family, Dante never worked for a living and dabbled in politics as well as literature, philosophy and cosmology. He had at least three children with his wife Gemma Donati.

Dante the politician

Dante was active in politics, serving as one of Florence’s nine elected rulers, or priors, for a regular two-month term in 1300. When he became increasingly critical of papal encroachment in political affairs, he was put on trial and banished from Florence AFP.

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What is the life story of Russian author and playwright Leo Tolstoy?

Widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of all time, Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, better known as Leo Tolstoy, was born on September 9, 1828. His ideas on non-violence had a profound impact on Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Read on to learn more about him...

Early life

Born on his family estate, Yasnaya Polyana in the Tula province of Russia, Tolstoy belonged to an affluent family. Unfortunately, he lost his parents at a young age and lived with different relatives over the years.

At 16, Tolstoy began studying law and Oriental languages at Kazan University, but since he was home-schooled, he struggled to cope. Frustrated, he dropped out of the university and started looking for a non-academic career.

Sowing the seeds

Intent on taking up farming, Tolstoy moved to the family's estate and began managing serfs and farmhands. Though he enjoyed the toil, he had to give up farming as he wanted to return to Moscow, which he missed. On his brothers insistence, he joined the Russian Army. Tolstoy fought in the Crimean War, between Russia, and Britain and France. The violence and bloodshed he witnessed during the war scarred him for life. He left the Army as soon as the war ended.

A new religion

Seeking solace in religion, he tried to evolve his own views on religion wherein he rejected the authority of the church and promoted ahimsa or non-violence. He believed in leading a morally and physically ascetic life. His followers moved onto the authors estate to be near him and came to be known as Tolstayans. Many of these communes are operational even today.

Among those influenced by Tolstoy's social beliefs were Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi established a co-operative colony named after Tolstoy in South Africa and corresponded with the author, crediting him with his own spiritual and philosophical evolution, particularly with regard to Tolstoy's teachings on peaceful non-resistance to evil.

Tolstoy died on November 20, 1910, a few months after embarking on a pilgrimage with his daughter.

OH REALLY?

A Bombay High Court judge asked an accused civil rights activist to explain why he had a copy of Tolstoy's "War and Peace" at home. The comment has drawn criticism from people across the world.

Tolstoy maintained a journal throughout his life in which he kept a detailed record of all his activities. In the diary, he jotted down a list of rules he aspired to live by. This included sleeping by 10 p.m. and waking up by 5 a.m. with no more than a two-hour nap in the afternoon: eating moderately and avoiding sweets.

While fighting in the Army, Tolstoy wrote: "Childhood", an autobiographical novel, followed by "Boyhood" and "Youth" His other works include "Anna Karenina", "Resurrection", "Family Happiness" and "The Death of Ivan Ilyich".

Did you know?

Tolstoy's wife helped him in finishing "War and Peace" on time. After completing the first draft in 1865, Tolstoy kept revising it over and over again. His wife, Sophia, patiently wrote out each version by hand sometimes she even used a magnifying glass to decipher his scribbles. Over the next seven years, she rewrote the complete manuscript at least eight times.

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What is the life story of Satyajit Ray?

A gifted filmmaker and storyteller, an artist and editor of a children’s magazine, Satyajit Ray wore many hats. But one thing that stood out the most was his love for children and his ability to capture the simple joys of childhood in his works.

The young Apu and his sister Durga from “Pather Panchali” watching a train for the first time; relishing the making of a mango pickle, and attending folk theatre as they lead a simple, rustic life come to mind. The fantastic inventions of the mad scientist Professor Shonku and the Holmes-like Feluda with his trusted sidekicks Topshe and Jatayu never fail to resonate with children.

Who was Satyajit Ray?

Born on May 2, 1921 in an illustrious family in Kolkata, Ray’s great grandfather was Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury and his father was Sukumar Ray, one of the stalwarts of Bengali literature. Unfortunately, Sukumar passed away when Ray was just two and a half years old. Once, a young Ray met Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan and asked for his autograph in his cherished violet coloured notebook. Much to Ray’s delight, not only did Tagore sign his initials, but also wrote a few lines and told him to read it once he grew up. This is what he wrote: “For many a year, I have travelled many a mile to lands far away, I have gone to see the mountains, the oceans. I have been to view. But I failed to see that lay not two steps from my home. On a sheaf of a paddy grain – a glistening drop of dew.” (translation taken from the book “Satyajit Ray in 100 Anecdotes by Arthi Muthanna Singh and Mamta Nainy.”)

Cinemascope

Before he became a filmmaker, Ray worked as a commercial artist. India’s first and only Oscar-winning director, Ray was inspired to become an independent filmmaker after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and watching Vittorio De Sica’s Italian neorealist 1949 film “Bicycle Thieves” in London.

In his long career, Ray directed more than 36 films, including “Pather Panchali” (Song of the Road), which retold Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s iconic 1929 novel of the same name. the film won 11 international prizes, including Best Human Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival and an honorary Academy Award in 1992. In the same year, Ray was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, by the Government of India.

Feluda

Ray’s unbridled imagination and sensitivity is reflected in his short stories and novels for children and adolescents. Ray’s popular “Feluda” series follows the private investigator as he solves complex mysteries using his sharp observational skills. The character made his debut in a crime thriller written by Ray for the Bengali children’s magazine Sandesh in 1965. Over the years, a total of 35 stories in the “Feluda” series were published. Ray even adapted the series to the silver screen, with noted actor Soumitra Chatterjee playing the young and charismatic sleuth.

Shonku and more

Ray also wrote science fiction for kids. His “Professor Shonku” series revolves around a scientist, who makes fantastic inventions in his laboratory. From El Dorado to the prehistoric caves of France to the Nilgiris and the Himalayas, Shonku goes on adventures to different countries and imaginary places.

Another of Ray’s cherished works is the “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” series based on his grandfather’s book of the same name. a socio-political satire, Ray weaves a magical tale of the village simpletons Goopy and Bagha. The series is packed with magic, rhyming dialogues, catchy songs, lively dances, and even ghosts (Bhooter Raja).

What’s in store?

  • “Another Dozen Stories”, a collection of 12 magical, bizarre and spooky stories for children written by Ry, has been translated from Bengali to English by Indrani Majumdar and will be out on May2. Sharmila Tagore has written the foreword.
  • Penguin India is also coming up with “3 Rays: Stories from Satyajit Ray”, a collection of previously unpublished autobiographical writings, stories, poems, illustrations, fiction and non-fiction. The book is expected to be out on May 10.

Oh really?

  • Besides filmmaking and writing, Ray had a deep love for typography. He designed the calligraphy in the opening titles for all his films and was credited with contributing several fonts to the Bengali and English language including Ray Roman, Ray Bizarre, Daphnis and Holiday Script.
  • After Ray, his son Sandip and other renowned filmmakers have kept the “Feluda” series alive. Even, Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor played Feluda in a television series “Kissa Kathmandu Ka” in 1986 for Doordarshan.

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