Authors We Love: Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll - Wikipedia

Charles was the third of the eleven children of Dodgson. Charles loves his mother best. He regards his mother as one of the sweetest mothers in the world. His mother is a good housekeeper and pays great attention to the children’s preschool education. At the age of seven, Charles was said to have read Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, as well as Maria Edgeworth’s Practical Education and Hannah Moore’s The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain. At the age of 12, Charles was sent as a boarder to a grammar school in Richmond, ten miles from Croft. He is diligent and eager to learn. The principal told his parents that his eloquence and the ingenuity and diction of his Latin prose proved him to be an extraordinary genius.

In 1846 he was sent to Rugby, which soon came under the rule of Thomas Arnold. When he first went there, he was unhappy and often bullied and called a “fool” (a clumsy athlete). He was often mocked because of his childhood stammer. On the other hand, when he did not receive prizes for classics, theology, mathematics, etc., he seldom went home. During the holidays, he began writing a series of home magazines for his siblings. At the age of 14, his first magazine was called an “inspiring and instructive collection of poetry.” It includes many humorous poems, some of which are in the doggerel style, while others are contemporary traditional poems written for children.

He composed poem in the form of a ballad taught people never to annoy their sisters, followed by a magazine illustrated by Charles himself. After leaving Rugby in 1850, Charles wrote his own masterpiece, The Rectory Umbrella And Mischmasch, while preparing for the Oxford entrance examination at home. The book shows that Charles was already an outstanding writer for a comic magazine. He also wrote plays for a puppet theater. His cousin introduced him to the novelist Francis Edward Smedley. He showed some of the poems to Edmund Yates, who, to compete with Punch, had started a penny magazine called Comic Times. Charles wrote four poems for the magazine.

When the Comic Times closed, he began writing for the latter Yates magazine, The train. Charles’ chief contribution to The Train was poetry. In publishing “Solitude,” Yates chose one of two pseudonyms offered by Charles: Lewis Carroll. These are the two Latin names of Charles, keeping the alphabetical order and then turning back to English. He was a priest and never married. He was very fond of children, and his favorite was a little girl called Alice Liddell. On the fourth of July, 1862, the author and a friend of his took the three Liddells and rowed up the River Thames from Oxford to Gostowe. On the boat, he told Alice a little story, which he later turned into a manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground and presented to her.

The manuscript is only 18, 000 words long, and the illustrations are by the author himself. Later, the author revised it to the present scale, changed the title to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and asked the famous painter Sir John Tenniel to illustrate it. The first edition was published on July 4, 1865, as a memorial to that trip. The story tells the story of a little girl named Alice, chasing a rabbit in a dream and falling into the rabbit hole, began a long and dangerous journey. This fairy tale breaks through the traditional moralistic formula of western European children’s literature with its magical fantasy, funny humor and high poetry, and has since been translated into many languages and travelled all over the world.

Carroll later wrote a companion piece, Alice Through the Looking Glass, which became popular in the world along with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 1868, Carroll published his encryption method. This type of encryption is known as Lewis Carroll’s ciphers. Cryptography introduces the concept of a secret key, which determines which row of secret tables to replace according to the key, to counter word frequency statistics. The password’s key space size is 26m, so even if the value of m is small, using the exhaustive key search method can take a long time. For example, when m=5, the size of the key space exceeds 1.1*107, which is beyond the scope of exhaustive search by hand calculation.

Charles was writing parodies and satires. Works such as The New Belfry (1872), The Vision of the Three T’s (1873) and The Blank Cheque (1874) attacked the reforms of many colleges and universities. In 1879, he tried to study children publicly. Because he has a terrible stammer, but he can communicate with people through the camera. In his second year at the school (1856), Carroll bought a complete set of photographic equipment (The Wet Print) and photographed Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, and the Prince of England. But he was most attracted to girls around the age of 7, and he took every opportunity to photograph the girls he met. Only in front of the girls, Carol will not have any psychological barriers. The only work he did during this period was Rhyme? and Reason?

-Coreen C.

Authors We Love: Anne Brontë

Anne Brontë - Wikipedia

The youngest of the Brontes, Anne was gentle, quiet, and less talented than her two sisters. She lived to be only twenty-nine, and in the next decade of her short life her dismal governess occupation took up much of her time, but she wrote two novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall  which have their place in the history of English literature. Her novels, like herself, have a tranquil feeling. The hero has a pure moral character, brave pursuit of independence and happiness, which is also the portrayal of Anne’s heart. Anne’s writing is more of an 18th-century work, with its frankness and clarity, rather than the Victorian style in which she lived. Anne’s life was an unhappy one. She had once fallen in love with her father’s assistant, Willie Weightman, but he died suddenly while Anne was away working as a governess. It was a long time before Anne got the news of his death. Her alcoholic brother thwarted the sisters’ hopes of starting a school at home. At the same time, Anne continued to suffer from illness. But she never complained, silently enduring the mental and physical pain with astonishing fortitude. Shortly after the publication of several of her books, she died in May 1849, far from home in the seaside health resort of Scarborough. Anne Bronte was born on January 17, 1820, at No. 74 Market Street, Thornton, West Yorkshire, where there was little room for two adults, six children, two servants and a nurse. Her father was appointed vicar in Haworth, seven miles away, after Reverend Bronte had written all over the place in search of employment. Haworth is more prosperous than Thornton, and the parson’s five bedrooms are far more spacious. But Haworth lacks a drainage system, drinking water is heavily polluted, the average life expectancy is only 25 years, and the vicarage’s window looks out on the churchyard where many of the children who died early are buried. By the time the Brontes moved to Haworth, Maria, their mother, had already been diagnosed with cancer. Maria’s sister, Elizabeth Branwell, came to Haworth to help Reverend Bronte, who was busy with his parish duties. Maria died on September 15, 1821. Soon the vicar Bronte, recovering from his grief, resumed his parish duties. At the end of the year he visited a friend of hers, and Elizabeth Force, Maria’s friend, expressed sympathy and comfort to him.

The priest then proposed to her, hoping to find a stepmother for their six children, but was rejected. Aunt Elizabeth, who took care of Maria, stayed behind to raise her six children. As their six children grew up, Maria and Elizabeth, now self-sufficient, helped their aunt with the housework as much as they could, while Anne, the youngest, became Aunt Elizabeth’s favorite and they shared the same room. When Anne was growing up, Aunt Elizabeth’s devout Methodist beliefs were a big influence. The Bronte’s’ new maid, Tabby Ackroyd, gave them plenty of Irish mythology and northern English country tales. In the summer of 1825, Maria and Elizabeth, who were going to school, fell ill and died, leaving the whole family in grief and pain. The Reverend Bronte no longer dared to give his children away, but instead taught them at home. He encouraged the children to read more, and Aunt Elizabeth wanted the girls to learn housekeeping, so at regular hours the children would come back from Keresley Library, four miles away, carrying heavy books with them. In June 1826, the Rev. Bronte gave Branwell a group of toy soldiers as a gift, which caught the imagination of the children. They gave the soldiers names and arranged their characters. In the years that followed, several children started with these soldiers and created a fictional African country called Angria. Angria includes many features of the real world. Charlotte and Branwell write poems in the voice of Angria’s living characters and an chronicle of Angria with mixed authenticity, but it is hard to see how much of a role Anne, who is not yet ten years old, played in the creation of Angria. As she grew older, Anne took Latin, French, music and art lessons from the local clergy. Her collection of books such as Edmund Burke’s aesthetic works, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, and Aunt Elizabeth’s subscription to Methodist magazines all influenced her. In the summer of 1832, the Rev. Bronte founded a Church Sunday school in the area, where children took turns as teachers. Branwell was said to be impatient, and Anne was said to be the kindest looking but the most serious. Returning home from a year at Roe Head School, Charlotte recalled that one of the things she would do when she returned was to make tea to cheer up Anne and Emily, who were tired of teaching.

Like twins, Anne and Emily often wrote illustrated diaries together, in which Emily first mentioned the name “Gondal” in 1834. Gondal, a fictional country created by Emily and Anne, is a neighbor of Angria. Much of Gondal’s landscape is drawn from the heather moors that spread across West Yorkshire, and its wars, alliances, and lending with its neighbors are rooted in the political landscape of the time. Emily and Anne wrote many poems and narrative fragments, imagining themselves as characters in Gondal. The strong Emily dominates, and Anne shows deference to her sister, but sometimes feels like no one understands her. In October 1835, after Emily returned home, unable to adapt to school life, Anne took her place in The School of Roe head, which was the first time she left home at the age of 15. Charlotte, who was already teaching at the school, did not care much for Anne, but she did care for her sister’s health. Anne had few friends at school, but she worked quietly and hard. She knew she needed a school education to make a living with what she learned, and in the end she won a prize of excellence in 1836. Anne and Charlotte returned home before Christmas in 1836, and Anne took care of Tabby Ackroyd, her maid who had fallen, while she continued to write poems about Gondal. Verses by Lady Geralda, which she wrote at this time, dramatized the somber atmosphere, the despair of the Lady Geralda of Gondal, and is the first poem that Anne Bronte has in existence. After much exposure to Calvinism in 1837, Anne faced a crisis of faith in the question of whether all men could be saved. Charlotte always thought Anne was a child, and Anne’s classmates were too young, so she had no place to talk, which led her to write a poem called “A Voice From The Dungeon“, and then she fell ill. Anne was visited many times by a minister of the Moravian Church, who enlightened her, and her crisis of faith eased, but her condition remained serious. Charlotte was so worried that she even quarreled with Anne’s teacher, Miss Waller. In January 1838 the Reverend Bronte took Anne home, and she gradually recovered. Concerned about Anne’s precarious health, the Reverend Bronte asked her to stay at home and not go back to school, so Anne and Emily continued to write poems and diaries about Gondal.

In the spring of 1839, Branwell’s plans for an art studio failed and he had to go home. Emily worked as a tutor for a while and then went home to recuperate due to health problems. Charlotte couldn’t find a job for a while. The Reverend Bronte found himself once more in the position of supporting several children on his meager stipend. Quiet and practical Anne helped the family in her own way by getting a post of governess with the Ingham family at Blake Hall. Anne refused any company, went alone and settled down quickly. Anne soon discovered that the situation was far worse than she had expected. The pupils were so spoiled that she found it difficult to control them, let alone to get them to learn anything. Once she was so angry that she locked them on the legs of the table. Anne complained to the children’s parents, but they did not support her and she was considered unfit to be a governess. On Christmas Day 1839, Anne, who had lost her job, returned home and the three sisters were reunited. Her experiences at Blake Hall were later written by Anne in Agnes Grey. Anne met her father’s new assistant, William Weightman (1814-1842). Weightman, who graduated from Durham University, has been working at the parish since late August and is very popular at the vicarage. On Valentine’s Day, 1840, Weightman wrote a poem to each of the three sisters who had never received a Valentine’s Day hymn. Anne’s paintings at this stage featured sentient women facing the sea, and her poems featured both men and passionate women, leading researchers to speculate that she had a strong crush on Weightman. In May 1840 Anne got her second job as governess to the Robinsons of Thorp Green, where she worked as a governess for four children. In June she followed the Robinsons to Scarborough, North Yorkshire, for a holiday. Anne loved Scarborough, close to the sea and beautiful, and was happy to walk there and discover the wonders. From the second half of 1840, Anne’s poetry diverged. She wrote Gondal poems with Emily when she returned home, and even went on a trip with Emily imitating Gondal characters, but while at Thorpe Green she wrote poems expressing her own emotions. Anne soon found herself facing the same problems she had encountered at Blake Hall: she was homesick, the children were out of control, and the Robinsons were unsupportive.

She didn’t change much, but she stayed and made friends with two of her students. Returning home for a holiday in June 1841, Anne saw Weightman again, but soon afterwards she went to join the Robinsons at Scarborough. At this point she began to write her own independent diary, in which she mentioned the three sisters’ plan to open a school of her own. Returning home for a holiday in 1842, Anne discovered that Weightman had died of a misadventure, and in December of that year she wrote an elegy for an unknown man, expressing her sorrow and pain. The Bronte sisters at this time considered several school sites, including the vicarage, but did not actually go into action, and the attempt to open a school is also written about in Agnes Gray. In early November 1842, Aunt Elizabeth, who had brought up the Bronte sisters, died. Charlotte and Emily were at school in Brussels at that time. Only Anne returned to attend the funeral. Anne returned to Thorpe Green in January 1843 and found a place for her elder brother, Branwell, as governor for the now grown Edmond Robinson. From 1844 on, Anne became more and more difficult to bear the Robinson’s environment, while Branwell became more Bohemian under the Influence of Robinsons, which made Anne more miserable. She had to write poems to cope with it. In June 1845, Anne Bronte abruptly resigned her post as a governess at Thorp Green and returned to Haworth, supposedly because her older brother, Branwell, was having an affair with Mrs. Robinson, and Mr. Robinson suggested that Anne was acting as an intermediary. When Anne returned home, she sat with her father, who was seeing less and depressed, and began to write Agnes Grey. In the autumn, Charlotte came across Emily’s poem and thought she could publish it. Emily with a strong personality was not happy with Charlotte’s discovery that her sister interfered with her privacy. Anne basically agreed with Charlotte’s plan. In order to settle the quarrel between Charlotte and Emily, she volunteered to contribute her own poem. Without even telling Branwell or their father, Anne and Emily had each chosen twenty poems written after 1840, and Charlotte, with money from Aunt Elizabeth, had chosen nineteen of her own early poems and sent them to the publisher.

Fearing that reviewers would unfairly judge the author because she was a woman, all three sisters used aliases. The pseudonym Bell, derived from the curate of the church, had the same initials as the three sisters, making Anne Acton Bell. In May 1846, the 165-page anthology of poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell was put on sale. It received some critical acclaim, but it sold very little, only two copies in its first year. Charlotte later decided that her poems were childish in the three sisters’ poetry collection, and that Emily’s poems were bold, melancholy and sublime that could be handed down from generation to generation. Anne’s poems had their own sincere lovely pathos. In August 1848, Anne’s “The Narrow Way” and “The Three Guides” were published in The Fraser Magazine, the only poems published by the sisters apart from their collections. The death of Branwell, a chronic alcoholic, on September 24th at the age of 31 was a great shock to the family, and preparations for Branwell’s funeral left Emily and Anne exhausted. The winter brought coughs and colds to the family, especially Emily, who died on December 19. Emily’s death made Anne, who had always been close to her, even more sad. Anne began to show marked shortness of breath and asthma, but still sustained her illness by writing a reply to a theologian about the universal remedy mentioned in “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall “. In early January 1849, Anne became seriously ill. Doctors diagnosed tuberculosis and suggested that the disease was too advanced to recover. Anne accepted the news with calmness and self-control. Unlike Emily, she took her medicine exactly as the doctor ordered. In the months that followed, her illness waxed and waned, but she became noticeably thinner and weaker, and she decided to return to Scarborough, her favorite place. On May 24, Anne and her father said goodbye to the family servants and left Haworth with Charlotte and her friend. They spent a day and a night in York, where Anne and Charlotte went shopping in a wheelchair and visited her favorite chapel. The next day, Anne, who did not want her illness to limit Charlotte, hired a donkey cart. When they found her, they found her teaching the boy who drove her to be kind to his donkey. On May 27, a terminally ill Anne saw Charlotte struggling to contain her grief. Anne died at 2 p.m. the next day. Anne was buried there in St. Mary’s Churchyard in Scarborough. The funeral took place on 30 May. When Charlotte returned three years later, she found several mistakes on the gravestone, which had been re-engraved, but which still put Anne’s death age at 28. In April 2013, the Brontë Society re-erected the gravestone to make it 29.

Authors We Love: Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle Biography - life, family, children, name, story, death,  history, wife, school, mother

His writing style can be boiled down to two characteristics: scientific and professional. The works are good at setting suspense, stimulating readers’ interest in reading, and paying attention to the overall layout. In terms of plot, there is a strong echo and strict reasoning. Rigorous causal reasoning and deductive methods are used to promote the plot of the novel and develop the story. He is famous for Sherlock Holmes. His short stories have a strong sense of painting, and their conflict settings are concentrated, with plot twists and turns, which make readers feel as if they are reading a movie story. However, in the later period of his creation, due to the gradual disappearance of enthusiasm for creation, Doyle’s depiction of Holmes became increasingly deified, showing a deliberately exaggerated plot with the so-called brand of the devil (see “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”, “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”).

It is no exaggeration to say that many of Doyle’s short stories, with minor modifications, are excellent movie bases. It is very rare for Doyle to have such artistic thinking long before the popularization of film art. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is the most frequently made film novel in the world. For example, Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr., Gene Wilder in 1975, Charlton Heston in 1991 and other films based on the detective’s records have also been produced. There have been seven TV series. His short story, El Anillo De Thoth, revolves around the theme of death and immortality in ancient Egyptian culture, presenting us with a fantasy world, which was one of the important creative sources of Hollywood mummification films.

“The Lost World” is also a cross-generational work. This novel can only be said to be enlightening for our modern adventures of ancient beasts and dinosaur types and films. Conan Doyle wrote 60 stories, 56 short stories and 4 novels about Sherlock Holmes. These stories were published in Strand magazine in droves over 40 years, as was customary at the time (Charles Dickens published his novels in a similar format). The story mainly takes place between 1878 and 1907, with the latest story set in 1914. Two of these stories are written in Holmes’s voice, two in the third person, and the rest are Watson’s accounts.

-Coreen C.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: 9780593198025 ...

Little Women is a novel written by Louisa May Alcott and first published in 1868.

The novel was an autobiographical family ethics novel set in the American Civil War and based on the life’s trifles of four sisters in an ordinary family in New England in the 19th century. Influenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great thinker of the time, the novel emphasizes the concept of personal dignity, independence and self-discipline. The content is simple but exquisite; the structure is simple but profound, full of strong appeal. Little Women is a semi-autobiographical novel with female characters and feminist consciousness.

During the American Civil War, Mr. March went to war as a chaplain, and his four daughters and their mother lived a poor but strong and optimistic life at home. They were poor, but willing to help their neighbors, the Hummels, who needed help more than they did. Women have vanity; they want to get beautiful clothes, eat delicious food, live like a princess. Although full of fantasy, in real life, they use their own efforts to solve the various difficulties in life. The eldest daughter, Meg, is beautiful by nature and full of longing for love; the second daughter, Jo, was independent and determined to be a writer; the third daughter, Beth, is the traditional good girl, weak and lovable. The youngest daughter, Amy, loves painting. The story follows these four women as they grow from girls into little women, recounting their unruly experiences and respective pursuit of different ideals and the processing of finding their true self.

The reason why the four March sisters, who are the true, the good and the beautiful, have such qualities as kindness, diligence, selflessness, tolerance and toughness cannot be separated from Mrs. March’s excellent education. Parents are their children’s first teachers, and there is no doubt that Mrs. March is an excellent teacher. She is generous, ready to help others, not easily angry, and grateful for life. In the eyes of the children, she is not only a good mother, but also their best friend. They liked to confide their worries to Mrs. March, who gave them good advice and help. It is because of Mrs. March’s unique family education that the four sisters became little women loved by everyone. Consequently, the courageous images of women in this book touch the heartstrings of numerous female readers.

-Coreen C.

Authors We Love: Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison | Biography, Books, & Facts | Britannica

Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931 — August 5, 2019) was an American writer and writer who was born in Lorain, Ohio. She graduated from Howard university. Coming to the literary scene in the late 1960s, her works were fiery, brief and poetic, and she was known for her acute observations of black life in America. Her major works include The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1974), Song of Solomon (1977), and Tar Baby (1981). She became a professor at Princeton university in 1989 and won the Nobel Prize of literature in 1993. In all of Morrison’s works, one of the greatest costs of the black character’s rebellion against fate is family and kinship. For African American slaves, staying away from home and maintaining family ties was the result of their intelligence and tenacity. It also meant emotional and spiritual sustenance. Therefore, the loss of “family”, a precious treasure, as a result of the rebellion against the fate, has been a helpless sigh for the fate of black people in Morrison’s works.

How to heal the long-accumulated historical wounds in the hearts of black citizens and get rid of their misunderstanding of themselves— an urgent problem related to the destiny and future of the black nation, has led Toni Morrison to ponder. After careful consideration, Morrison realized that to completely change America’s perception of black people, we must find a real solution to make the nation be more receptive and welcoming, so that the whole nation clearly and consciously accepts African Americans as part of its whole. Therefore, on the question of exploring racial equality, Morrison put forward the idea of reclaiming the black cultural heritage. This in itself encourages the writer to heal the psychological trauma in many African Americans and help them to be hopeful and proud of their lineage again.

The works of Toni Morrison are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. They may also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Book Review: The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway

The narrative perspective of limited omniscience in the third person is adopted in this work. Through succinct dialogue, implicit narration, exquisite psychological description, ellipsis and repetition and other artistic means, the image of Wilson as a tough guy who is calm, sophisticated, assertive and confident has been successfully shaped. It expresses the theme that the meaning of life lies in the courage to defy death and fight bravely. The novel revolves around two hunting trips in Africa by American couple Francis Macomber and his wife Margaret with professional hunter Wilson. On the first day of hunting, the timid Macomber was scared out of his wits by the injured lion. For this, he was viciously mocked by his wife and despised by Wilson. That night, his wife went into Wilson’s tent. Macomber was devastated and in extreme pain. The next day, out of his usual way, he suddenly broke free from his long-held fear and charged at a wounded bison. At that very moment, Margaret shot Macomber in the back, ending his young life.

It can be said that only those brave people who face the tragedy of fate are the real tough men; those who face the pressure of fate and maintain human dignity, courage, and elegant demeanor are the real heroes in modern life. On the contrary, people who are trapped in the modern net of material pleasures and desires often lose the courage to face life and become the miserable wretches that everyone is ashamed of. “The Short And Happy Life of Francis Macomber” is clearly a profound and rich account of this transformation. In Hemingway’s case, the color of modern life is clearly not what human life needs, and people who indulge in it are trapped in it. On the contrary, only with human dignity, facing the tragedy and death of life, can one gain some kind of freedom and feel real happiness. Macomber has endured death, pain, and absurdity throughout his life, but his defiance and his courage in trying to escape the grip of nihilistic forces are enough to make him a hero.

Death is the greatest nothingness and the power to get rid of nothingness. Macomber’s death in nothingness and his rebirth in death are spiritual triumphs. The significance and value of Hemingway’s creation lies in that people living in such a nihilistic life should seriously consider their own living environment through death, pain, and absurdity and establish a new way of existence to challenge and overcome nihilism. “The Short And Happy Life of Francis Macomber” is a third-person narrative. Therefore, the narrator can travel flexibly and freely among the narrated objects, and has a relatively broad narrative space. He can stay outside the characters for external observation, or sneak into the characters’ interior for psychological perspective. In the novel, Macomber, his wife Margaret, and professional hunter Wilson, these three main characters’ image creation and story suspense setting are realized by the different functions of the third person narration.

It is worth mentioning that the novel also occasionally inserts the second person, which refers to the narrative receiver, namely the reader, as “you”, showing a strong emotional tendency, which greatly reduces the distance between the narrative receiver and the narrator and enables the reader to participate in the story. “The Short And Happy Life of Francis Macomber” is a masterpiece of skill. The author’s own subjective intentions are completely submerged in the plot. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t lash out, the novel is exactly like a caricature with a touch of humor in it. Hemingway portrays the characters without any generalization or ambiguity. His implicit and concise style is usually simple on the surface, but with careful consideration, the profound meaning can be understood.

-Coreen C.

Authors We Love: Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury - Wikipedia

Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 — June 6, 2012) was born in Waukegan, Illinois, USA. He loved adventure stories and fantasy novels, especially the fantastic stories edited by Gernsback. When he was twelve, he was given a typewriter for his birthday. He began to practice his writing. As early as middle school, he took an elective course on how to write a novel. He began to contribute to several magazines in 1941, became a professional writer in 1943, and won the Best American Short Story Award three years later. He has written several novels, such as “Fahrenheit 451” is quite famous. But he is also known for his short stories, so far short stories published nearly 20 units, including the famous are: “The Martian Chronicles” (1950), “the Golden Apples of the Sun” (1953), “The Rocket” (1962), “Last Night of the World” (1966), etc. Bradbury is not only a world-famous science fiction writer, but also one of the leading grammarian in contemporary American literature. In addition to writing science fiction, he wrote screenplays and social fiction, and adapted the classic American literary work “Moby Dick” by Melville into a screenplay. He himself drew nourishment from the classics as well.

Bradbury is one of those rare writers whose work has changed the way people think. With over 500 books — including short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television plays, and poetry — he represented the pinnacle of American imagination. Once you read his work, his words will stick with you. His enduring appeal to both the old and the young proves once again that Bradbury was a true classic of the 20th century.

The works of Ray Bradbury are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. They may also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Authors We Love: Harper Lee

The Measure Of Harper Lee: A Life Shaped By A Towering Text : The ...

Harper Lee (Nelle Harper Lee, on April 28, 1926 – February 19, 2016) was born in 1926 in the southern United States in a small town in Alabama. Published in 1960, the only novel in her life “To Kill a Mockingbird” made her won great reputation and the Pulitzer prize for fiction. The novel has been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Her father was a lawyer and a former state legislator. After graduating from local public schools, Harper Lee studied law at the University of Alabama and spent a year as an exchange student at Oxford University in England. Six months before graduating, she left school and moved to New York to pursue her writing dream. She writes while working as an airline reservation clerk in New York. Encouraged by friends and editors, she returned to her hometown in Alabama to write stories based on fragments of her childhood. Her masterpiece was “To Kill a Mockingbird”, released in 1960. The book is still one of the greatest American novels ever written. For 40 years, she has never given an interview, although paparazzi have tracked her down to where she lives with her sister Alice in Monroeville, Alabama. She was single and childless.

In 1961, Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

In 2007, Harper Lee received the Medal of Freedom from US President George W. bush for her literary achievements.

The works of Harper Lee are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. They can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind (novel) - Wikipedia

Gone with the Wind is a novel written by American writer Margaret Mitchell, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. Set in Atlanta and a nearby plantation, the novel depicts life in southern America before and after the Civil War. Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley, Melanie, and the rest of the southerners are at the center of the story. Their customs and manners, words and deeds, spiritual concepts, and political attitudes, through the entanglement of love between Scarlett and Rhett, successfully depicted the Civil War led by Lincoln and the social life in the southern area of the United States.

The Civil War destroyed the economy of Georgia and the whole South. Slaves were freed and the good old days of slave owners were gone. In order to survive, they had to put down their pride and struggle, or they would die, and even the elite of Alanta would have to condescend to selling cakes and driving wagons. Feminist literature began in the 19th century and flourished in the 20th century. The rapid development of feminism is closely related to the social environment and historical background at that time. As the ideas of liberty, equality, fraternity and natural human rights advocated by the French Revolution rapidly gained popularity throughout the world, a feminist movement began to fight for women’s equality in politics, economy, education and other aspects from the 1830s. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, published in 1936, was written under such circumstances.

In the past, the author used to create a single and prominent character, that is, the positive character is brilliant, without any shortcomings, while the negative character is usually full of dark, cunning, and comes with a callous nature. However, Gone with the Wind breaks this way of description. The characters presented in the novel are the combination of positive and negative dispositions. This combination of personalities not only manifests the characteristics of each character in a round and vivid way, but also reveals a personal change brought by social upheaval in a deeper level.

-Coreen C.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

The Price of Admission by Daniel Golden

The Price of Admission (Updated Edition): How America's Ruling ...

This book was recommended to me by my friend who accidentally found this book online while she was exploring her college options as a student who needs financial aid. I wasn’t exactly drawn to reading this book at first simply by looking at its title. The United States of American is a nation where equality, justice, and freedom prevail, I thought. But curiosity still prompted me to read the first few pages of this novel and I was truly surprised at how much the rich and wealthy alumnus parents manipulate college acceptance officers to help enroll their children in the Ivy League universities.

I didn’t feel bitter because of the rich kids who, with mediocre academic records and criminal offenses managed to get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford. Well, life is unfair, and their parents just naturally are more powerful and connected to tycoons who with a phone call ensures the matriculation of a child into these universities. What I felt to be a decline in democracy, meritocracy, and most importantly, the prominence of the American education system—one which the U.S. proclaims to be of the top in terms of its position in the world—is the fact that scholarly institutions are no longer willing to discover talent and support intellectual efforts from the rough and lower socioeconomic tiers.

Wealthy legacy and children of generous donors occupy spots that they don’t deserve. Perhaps they don’t even think how many nights did students from working and middle class spent studying instead of partying like them. Is the advancement of education really still the major goal and core of private institutions, or in maintaining their status in the academic community and attracting tycoons their one and only aim now?

-Coreen C.