O. Henry

Easton Press O. Henry books

The Voice of the City and Other Short Stories - Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1991
Short Stories of O. Henry - 1996
O. Henry The Fiction Complete and Unabridged - 2009

Franklin Library O. Henry books

Selected Stories of O. Henry - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1978

About O. Henry

O. Henry, the pen name of William Sydney Porter, was an American short story writer born on September 11, 1862, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is renowned for his masterful storytelling, clever plot twists, and a unique ability to capture the essence of the human experience in his works. Porter's early life was marked by various challenges. In 1882, he moved to Texas and worked at a bank, but his involvement in embezzlement led to legal troubles, and he ultimately spent three years in prison. During this period, he began writing short stories to support his family, and it was here that he adopted the pen name "O. Henry."

After his release, O. Henry settled in New York City, where he would spend the majority of his writing career. His stories often revolved around the vibrant and diverse characters he encountered in the city. The urban landscape served as a rich backdrop for his tales of love, crime, and the complexities of human relationships. O. Henry's writing style was characterized by his witty narration and surprise endings, making him a master of the short story genre. Some of his most famous works include The Gift of the Magi, The Ransom of Red Chief, and The Last Leaf. His ability to blend humor, irony, and poignant observations about life endeared him to readers and solidified his place as a prominent figure in American literature.

In a last-minute reversal worthy of one of his own stories, he turned to fiction, and became a celebrated author of ironic miniatures. The Gift of the Magi is perhaps his most famous creation. And while this exploration of love and gift-giving doesn't exactly plumb the depths of human behavior, it does leave us with the final picture of Jim (sans watch) and Della (sans hair, or most of it), which has induced even the crankiest readers to shed a tear since it first appeared in 1906. Get out your handkerchiefs!

Despite his success as a writer, O. Henry faced personal challenges, including health issues and financial struggles. He continued to write prolifically until his death on June 5, 1910, at the age of 47. O. Henry's legacy lives on through his timeless stories, which continue to captivate readers and inspire generations of writers who admire his storytelling craftsmanship and insight into the human condition.

The Voice of the City and Other Short Stories

1923. William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) was the most popular short story writer of his time. His stories typically revolved around two of his favorite themes, the situation of the impostor and fate as the one unavoidable reality of life. Another device he used was the surprise ending, usually coming about through coincidence. He was the founder of the humorous weekly The Rolling Stone. When the weekly failed, he joined the Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. He was convicted of embezzling money, although there's much debate over his actual guilt, and while in prison he started to write short stories. His first work, Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking appeared in McClure's Magazine. After emerging from prison Porter changed his name to O. Henry. He then moved to New York and wrote a story a week for the New York World, also publishing in other magazines. This collection of stories follows The Four Million.

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