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O. Henry - Wikipedia
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Lucinda Byatt Goodreads Author Translator. Venice, On a cold December night, a man is found strangled in a dark alley. High magistrate Marco Pisani is tasked with investigating the grisly Venice, High magistrate Marco Pisani is tasked with investigating the grisly murder. When two more bodies are discovered, it is clear there is a serial killer on the loose.
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Designed to be a quick, breezy, suspenseful read, the book has been enjoyed by enough readers that I'd like to reach a broader audience. I hope you enjoy! SHORT: The story of an idealistic young attorney who must defend a childhood acquaintance from murder while receiving guidance from his mentor's ghost. LONG: After a series of personal tragedies, a young attorney returns home and takes a job with a charismatic criminal defense attorney known for reckless behavior. After yet another tragedy strikes and John dies, the attorney must take on his first murder case alone. His client is Scotty Watts, a former high classmate and sports superstar turned jail bird.
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Porter gathered ideas for his column by loitering in hotel lobbies and observing and talking to people there.
This was a technique he used throughout his writing career. While he was in Houston, federal auditors audited the First National Bank of Austin and found the embezzlement shortages that led to his firing. A federal indictment followed, and he was arrested on charges of embezzlement. Porter's father-in-law posted bail to keep him out of jail. He was due to stand trial on July 7, , but the day before, as he was changing trains to get to the courthouse, an impulse hit him. He fled, first to New Orleans and later to Honduras, with which the United States had no extradition treaty at that time.
Porter lived in Honduras for only six months, until January There he became friends with Al Jennings , a notorious train robber, who later wrote a book about their friendship. Porter had sent Athol and Margaret back to Austin to live with Athol's parents.
Fact or Fiction?: You Must Drink 8 Glasses of Water Daily
Unfortunately, Athol became too ill to meet Porter in Honduras as he had planned. When he learned that his wife was dying, Porter returned to Austin in February and surrendered to the court, pending trial. Athol Estes Porter died from tuberculosis then known as consumption on July 25, He was sentenced to five years in prison and imprisoned on March 25, , at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio.
Porter was a licensed pharmacist and was able to work in the prison hospital as the night druggist. He was given his own room in the hospital wing, and there is no record that he actually spent time in the cell block of the prison. He had 14 stories published under various pseudonyms while he was in prison but was becoming best known as "O.
A friend of his in New Orleans would forward his stories to publishers so that they had no idea that the writer was imprisoned. Porter was released on July 24, , for good behavior after serving three years.
He reunited with his daughter Margaret, now age 11, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Athol's parents had moved after Porter's conviction. Margaret was never told that her father had been in prison—just that he had been away on business. Porter's most prolific writing period started in , when he moved to New York City to be near his publishers. While there, he wrote short stories. His wit, characterization, and plot twists were adored by his readers but often panned by critics. Porter married again in to childhood sweetheart Sarah Sallie Lindsey Coleman, whom he met again after revisiting his native state of North Carolina.
Sarah Lindsey Coleman was herself a writer and wrote a romanticized and fictionalized version of their correspondence and courtship in her novella Wind of Destiny.
The Poem That Made Sherman Alexie Want to 'Drop Everything and Be a Poet'
Porter was a heavy drinker, and by , his markedly deteriorating health affected his writing. In , Sarah left him, and he died on June 5, , of cirrhosis of the liver , complications of diabetes , and an enlarged heart. She married cartoonist Oscar Cesare of New York in ; they were divorced four years later. She died of tuberculosis in and is buried next to her father.
Henry's stories frequently have surprise endings. In his day he was called the American answer to Guy de Maupassant. While both authors wrote plot twist endings, O.
Expertise. Insights. Illumination.
Henry's stories were considerably more playful, and are also known for their witty narration. Most of O. Henry's stories are set in his own time, the early 20th century. Many take place in New York City and deal for the most part with ordinary people: policemen, waitresses, etc. Henry's work is wide-ranging, and his characters can be found roaming the cattle-lands of Texas, exploring the art of the con-man, or investigating the tensions of class and wealth in turn-of-the-century New York. Henry had an inimitable hand for isolating some element of society and describing it with an incredible economy and grace of language.
Some of his best and least-known work is contained in Cabbages and Kings , a series of stories each of which explores some individual aspect of life in a paralytically sleepy Central American town, while advancing some aspect of the larger plot and relating back one to another. Cabbages and Kings was his first collection of stories, followed by The Four Million. The second collection opens with a reference to Ward McAllister 's "assertion that there were only 'Four Hundred' people in New York City who were really worth noticing.
But a wiser man has arisen—the census taker—and his larger estimate of human interest has been preferred in marking out the field of these little stories of the 'Four Million. Henry, everyone in New York counted. He had an obvious affection for the city, which he called "Bagdad-on-the-Subway",  and many of his stories are set there—while others are set in small towns or in other cities. His final work was "Dream", a short story intended for the magazine The Cosmopolitan but left incomplete at the time of his death.
Porter used a number of pen names including "O. Henry" or "Olivier Henry" in the early part of his writing career; other names included S. Peters, James L. Bliss, T. Dowd, and Howard Clark. Henry" seemed to garner the most attention from editors and the public, and was used exclusively by Porter for his writing by about He gave various explanations for the origin of his pen name. It was during these New Orleans days that I adopted my pen name of O.
I said to a friend: "I'm going to send out some stuff. I don't know if it amounts to much, so I want to get a literary alias. Help me pick out a good one. In the society columns we found the account of a fashionable ball. We looked down the list and my eye lighted on the name Henry, "That'll do for a last name," said I. I want something short.