In this lesson we’re looking at a biography of the the most famous horror writing of our time, Stephen King! 

There are plenty of short texts to read and understand, and a biographical audio clip to listen to. Make sure you’ve understood the vocabulary before trying the quizzes.

Have fun with the lesson!

– James.

Lesson Contents

Text: Early Life and Education

Author Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. King is recognised as one of the most famous and successful horror writers of all time. His parents, Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King, divorced when he was very young, and he and his brother David divided their time between Connecticut and Indiana for several years. King later moved back to Maine with his mother and brother. There he graduated from Lisbon Falls High School in 1966.

Text: Higher Education and First Job

King stayed close to home for higher education, attending the University of Maine. There he wrote for the school’s newspaper and served in its student council. While in school, King published his first short story, which appeared in the magazine Startling Mystery Stories. After graduating with a degree in English in 1970, he tried to find a position as a teacher but had no luck at first. King took a job in a laundry and continued to write stories in his spare time until late 1971, when he began working as an English educator at Hampden Academy. It was that year that he also married fellow writer Tabitha Spruce.

Text: First Literary Success

In 1973, King penned and sold his first novel, Carrie, the tale of a tormented teen who gets revenge on her peers. The book became a huge success after it was published the following year, allowing him to devote himself to writing full time. It was later adapted for the big screen with Sissy Spacek as the title character.

Text: Alcoholism

Shortly after Carrie’s release, King’s mother died of uterine cancer. Due to the emotional trauma, King developed a drinking problem. A condition that would plague him for more than a decade. He later wrote in one of his mémoires that he was drunk while giving his mother’s eulogy.

Audio: Addiction and Rehabilitation

Listen to the short audio clip, depicting Stephen King in the late 70s, and early 80s, and answer the questions below.
 

Read the descriptions of words that we’ve looked at in this lesson, and match them to the corresponding vocabulary.

Read the final part of Stephen King’s biography, and order his life events.

All Quizzes