(This is a story of an investigation into the activities o...)
This is a story of an investigation into the activities of Mr. Wissey Jones, a stranger who comes to the town of Pequot on urgent defense business. His business is to buy for his corporation children of a certain sort, in this case a ten-year-old named Barry Rudd, a budding genius of potentially critical value. A hearing is held and questions are asked: exactly why does Mr. Jones' company buy children, and will it succeed in buying Barry?
(The story follows a young Arizona girl renamed White Lotu...)
The story follows a young Arizona girl renamed White Lotus. As she ages, she evolves from “a bewildered, terrified slave to a conscious and intelligent revolutionary.” Her orchestrated, yet simple act of standing before her captors on one leg, head bowed like a sleeping bird becomes an often repeated act of nonviolent civil disobedience, an unconventional act in the spirit of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King.
(On the verge of a new life in New Haven, Elaine Quinlan b...)
On the verge of a new life in New Haven, Elaine Quinlan becomes the unsuspecting and increasingly fearful object of the vague advances and designs of self-styled security salesman Eddie Macaboy
(This classic novel and winner of the Pulitzer Prize tells...)
This classic novel and winner of the Pulitzer Prize tells the story of an Italian-American major in World War II who 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. Although stituated during one of the most devastating experiences in human history, John Hersey's story speaks with unflinching patriotism and humanity.
Hersey returned to the United States with his family when he was ten years old. He attended public school in Briarcliff Manor, New York, including Briarcliff High School for two years. At Briarcliff, he became his troop's first Eagle Scout. Later he attended the Hotchkiss School, followed by Yale University, where he was a member of the Skull and Bones Society along with classmates Brendan Gill and Richard A. Moore. He subsequently was a graduate student at the University of Cambridge as a Mellon Fellow.
After his time at Cambridge, Hersey got a summer job as private secretary and driver for author Sinclair Lewis during 1937; but he chafed at his duties, and that autumn he began work for Time, for which he was hired after writing an essay on the magazine's dismal quality. Two years later (1939) he was transferred to Time's Chongqing bureau. In 1940, William Saroyan lists him among "contributing editors" at Time in the play, Love's Old Sweet Song.
During World War II, newsweekly correspondent Hersey covered fighting in Europe as well as Asia, writing articles for Time as well as Life magazine. He accompanied Allied troops on their invasion of Sicily, survived four airplane crashes, and was commended by the Secretary of the Navy for his role in helping evacuate wounded soldiers from Guadalcanal.
After the war, during the winter of 1945-1946, Hersey was in Japan, reporting for The New Yorker on the reconstruction of the devastated country, when he found a document written by a Jesuit missionary who had survived the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The journalist visited the missionary, who introduced him to other survivors.
Soon afterward John Hersey began discussions with William Shawn, an editor for The New Yorker, about a lengthy piece about the previous summer's bombing. Hersey proposed a story that would convey the cataclysmic narrative through individuals who survived. The next May, 1946, Hersey traveled to Japan, where he spent three weeks doing research and interviewing survivors. He returned to America during late June and began writing about six Hiroshima survivors: a German Jesuit priest, a widowed seamstress, two doctors, a minister, and a young woman who worked in a factory.
The result was his most notable work, the 31,000-word article "Hiroshima", which was published in the August 31, 1946, issue of The New Yorker. The story dealt with the atomic bomb dropped on that Japanese city on August 6, 1945, and its effects on the six Japanese citizens. The article occupied almost the entire issue of the magazine – something The New Yorker had never done before.
Shortly before writing Hiroshima, Hersey published his novel Of Men and War, an account of war stories seen through the eyes of soldiers rather than a war correspondent. One of the stories in Hersey's novel was inspired by President John F. Kennedy and the PT-109. Soon afterward, the former war correspondent began publishing mostly fiction. Hersey's war novel The Wall (1950) presented as a rediscovered journal recording the genesis and destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest of the Jewish ghettos established by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. The bestselling book won the National Jewish Book Award during the second year of that award's existence; it also received the Sidney Hillman Foundation Journalism Award.
From 1965 to 1970, Hersey was master of Pierson College, one of twelve residential colleges at Yale University, where his outspoken activism and early opposition to the Vietnam War made him controversial with alumni, but admired by many students. After the trial of the Black Panthers in New Haven, Connecticut, Hersey wrote Letter to the Alumni (1970), in which the former Yale College master sympathetically addressed civil rights and anti-war activism – and attempted to explain them to sometimes-aggravated alumni.
For 18 years Hersey also taught two writing courses, in fiction and non-fiction, to undergraduates. Hersey taught his last class in fiction writing at Yale during 1984.
During 1985 John Hersey returned to Hiroshima, where he reported and wrote Hiroshima: The Aftermath, a follow-up to his original story. The New Yorker published Hersey's update in its July 15, 1985, issue, and the article was subsequently appended to a newly revised edition of the book. "What has kept the world safe from the bomb since 1945 has not been deterrence, in the sense of fear of specific weapons, so much as it's been memory", wrote Hersey. "The memory of what happened at Hiroshima".
John Hersey died at his winter home in Key West, Florida, on March 24, 1993.
(On the verge of a new life in New Haven, Elaine Quinlan b...)1977
(This is a story of an investigation into the activities o...)1960
(The story follows a young Arizona girl renamed White Lotu...)1965
Married 1st Frances Ann Cannon in 1940 (divorced in 1958), 2nd Barbara Day Kaufman, in 1958.