BUILDING BRIDGES Stephen King Live at the National Book Awards Each Autumn, in conjunction with the conferring of The National Book Awards in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature, the Board of Directors of the Foundation presents a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. The recipient is a person who has enriched our literary heritage over a life of service, or a corpus of work. The 2003 recipient of this distinguished award was presented to one of the great voices of American literature -- Stephen King. King accepts the award with grace and wit. His acceptance speech is filled with loving thanks to his wife Tabitha and with a passionate appreciation of his craft. King reflects on bridging the gap between literary and popular writers as well as staying true to his work and to himself over the many years. He concludes his speech by saluting all the nominees and with his sincerest hope that "you'll find something to read that will fill you up as this evening has filled me up." 100% of publisher and author profits from Building Bridges will be donated to the National Book Foundation.
Stephen Edwin King was born in 1947 in the city of Portland, Maine. He attended the University of Maine, where he received a B.A. degree in English in 1970. He married his present wife, Tabitha, in 1971, and they have three children. King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His novels have sold more than 350 million copies. Many have been made into films, television movies, and comics. He has published 54 novels using a pen name (Richard Bachman) for a few of them. Many of his stories take place in his home state of Maine.
He has won about every possible literary award beginning with his 1980 novella, The Way Station. His most notable literary award was in 2007 for the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America.King has had the common human weaknesses including alcoholism and drug addiction. His health during that period was so bad that he barely remembered writing the novel, Cujo. The first novel written after he quit all dependent drugs and alcohol was Needful Things.Stephen King's wife, Tabitha, has published nine of her own novels along with both sons being published writers. His daughter is a Unitarian Universalism Church minister with her same sex partner.
A life altering happening beset King in June of 1999. King was walking on the shoulder of Route 5, in Lovell, Maine, when a driver, who was distracted by an unrestrained dog, struck him from behind. His severe injuries kept him in the hospital until July 9. His lawyer purchased the van that hit him to prevent it from being sold on eBay. It was crushed at a junkyard. King thought that he would not write again, but did resume writing with this caveat, "I'm writing, but I'm writing at a slower pace".
His most notable novels are: Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, Misery, It, The Dark Tower, Under the Dome, and The Shawshank Redemption.