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Stephen King, popularly known as “The King of Horror,” is one of the more prolific and successful writers of the twentieth century. Despite a reputation for writing only horror and gore, however, King has written works that do not qualify as either horror or supernatural but rather are thoughtful, intricate slices of human experience that often cause us to reflect on our own childhoods, not always with fond nostalgia. He encourages his readers to get in touch with their own memories of what being a child really means, and innocence has little to do with King's version of childhood. Believing that most adults have lost touch with their imaginations and a sense of the mythic, King constantly challenges his readers to expand their concepts of memory and experience.


Originally published in Oxford Encyclopedia of American Writers. Ed. Jay Parini. 2003. Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.