An established master of horror fiction, Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine (USA), in 1947. After graduating from the university of Maine he taught English, at the time writing short stories for magazines, and soon turned into
writing full-time. He married Tabitha Spruce, a fellow student who also became a writer. King's first success was Carrie (1974). Among his most famous novels it is worth remembering The Shining (1977), The Dead Zone (1979), Cujo (1981), Pet
Sematary (1983) , IT (1986) , Misery (1987), and The Dark Half (1989). Many of his novels and short stories have been adapted into films, the most famous being the 1980 Stanley Kubrick version of The Shining, which started Jack Nicholson. A very effective movie was also made from his short story The Green Mile (1996). Later works include Bag Bones (1998), Hearts in Atlantis (1999) , and Dreamcatcher (2001). King's novels and short stories have been translated into more than thirty languages and his popularity is enormous. His work are not simply "horror stories"; they also reflect the anguish, the anxieties and inner fears which mark human existence. They often explore loneliness, violence, the sufferings of children, war and racism. The supernatural is also present . His characters are often ordinary people who find themselves involved in frightening events that they must try to understand and fight. One of the most recent works, Lisey's (2006), reveals a new development in his artistic expression, and could be as a journey into the soul of a writer and into the sources of creativity.