John Hersey

John Hersey leather bound book

Easton Press John Hersey books

Life sketches - signed first edition - 1989
Hiroshima - 2007

Franklin Library John Hersey books

The Walnut Door - limited first edition (not signed John Hersey) - 1977
A Bell for Adano - signed limited edition - 1978
The Wall - signed limited edition - 1982
The Call - signed first edition - 1985
A Bell for Adano - Pulitzer Prize classic - 1986
Blues - signed first edition - 1987

John Hersey biography

John Hersey, an American author and journalist, was born on June 17, 1914, in Tientsin, China, where his parents were stationed as missionaries. Hersey's early exposure to different cultures and global affairs would later influence his writing, making him known for his insightful and compassionate portrayals of human experiences. Hersey graduated from Yale University in 1936 and subsequently worked as a journalist for Time magazine. His career took a significant turn during World War II when he reported on the war in the Pacific and covered the activities of the Allied forces. However, it was his groundbreaking work as a war correspondent that would catapult him to literary fame.

In 1944, Hersey published A Bell for Adano, a novel set in Italy during the Allied occupation. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1945, establishing Hersey as a talented and socially engaged writer. His ability to weave personal stories into historical events became a hallmark of his writing style. However, it was Hersey's most famous work, Hiroshima, that cemented his place in the annals of journalism and literature. Published in 1946, just one year after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the book chronicled the experiences of six survivors. Hersey's meticulous reporting and empathetic storytelling highlighted the devastating human cost of the atomic bombings, and "Hiroshima" had a profound impact on public perception of nuclear weapons.

Throughout his career, Hersey continued to produce novels, non-fiction works, and essays, addressing a wide range of social and political issues. He delved into topics such as civil rights, the environment, and the consequences of war, demonstrating a commitment to using his literary talents to raise awareness and provoke thought. John Hersey's literary achievements were recognized with numerous awards, including the National Medal for Literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also held teaching positions at various universities, contributing to the education of aspiring writers. John Hersey is the author of numerous books such as A Bell for Adano, Into the Valley, Men on Bataan and many more notable books.

Hersey passed away on March 24, 1993, leaving behind a rich legacy of journalistic excellence and a body of work that continues to be studied and appreciated for its profound exploration of the human condition and its impact on the world.

John Hersey signed

John Hersey The Call

The Call

An American missionary in China, David Treadup, is the protagonist of John Hersey’s magnificent novel, a novel whose richness of character, color, and incident both explores the evangelical impulse in this country the peculiarly American spirit of wanting to help others and reflects the whole complex history of China from 1900 to the aftermath of World War II.
The Call is the story of one man’s spiritual odyssey as he strives to reconcile his commitment to God with his love of the struggling mass of Chinese humanity, to whom he pledges his life. It is the story of an American family choosing to make a home for themselves in an alien world that is sometimes exhilarating, sometimes overwhelming, always surprising and periodically inundated by history, famine, war, revolution. It is the story of a marriage of abiding partnership, of a wife at once strong and vulnerable, struggling to be close to a husband whose awesome challenge to somehow make the world a better place for the Chinese people will always claim him.
Treadup’s large adventure opens out from rural upstate New York, where he is raised on a struggling, isolated farm, to the Syracuse campus where, caught up in evangelical fervor, he is struck by a blinding light (through the voice of a Scottish rugby player) and answers the Call, to vast and turbulent China, where he is sent by the Y.M.C.A. to save souls. There, in the face of this three-thousand-year-old civilization, the tall, gregarious, ambitious American becomes quickly aware of his own insufficiency. But Treadup’s astonishing resourcefulness (who would think that a gyroscope could sway multitudes?), and his ever-growing passion to penetrate to the heart of China to bring its yearning people into the twentieth century, fire his energies again and again over the years of triumphs and frustrations, of rekindled vision and lost hopes.

John Hersey, himself the child of a missionary family in China, brings to this deeply human story a profound and intimate knowledge of the life it encompasses, giving us an extraordinary authenticity of place and feeling. It is his crowning achievement.

John Hersey first edition

A Bell for Adano

An Italian-American major during World War II wins the love and admiration of the local townspeople when he searches for a replacement for the 700 year-old town bell that had been melted down for bullets by the fascists.

Life sketches

John Hersey  presents a collection of his biographical sketches of memorable individuals both famous and obscure, from Sinclair Lewis and John F. Kennedy to the children of the Holocaust.


On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic.


The Wall

Riveting & compelling, The Wall tells the inspiring story of forty men & women who escape the dehumanizing horror of the Warsaw ghetto. John Hersey's novel documents the Warsaw ghetto both as an emblem of Nazi persecution & as a personal confrontation with torture, starvation, humiliation & cruelty a gripping, visceral story, impossible to put down.


From the revered Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and writer, comes his National Bestseller on one of the world’s oldest and most popular activities, fishing. Presented in narrative form as a conversation between a Fisherman and the Stranger, Hersey draws upon his own experiences and passion as the fisherman reflects on the age old sport, offering his own insights and thoughts. From the depths of the ocean to the creatures near the shore, Hersey perfectly answers why fishing has been such an integral part of humanity.

John Hersey Franklin Library

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