Includes the story “Premium Harmony”—set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine Named to the American Library Association’s Reference & User Services (RUSA) Listen List! A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled listeners with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it. There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win. Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant fan—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”
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.