John O'Hara Biography | Author of Appointment in Samarra

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John O'Hara was a prolific author who produced an impressive number of novels, plays, short stories, and essays. Born on January 31, 1905, the son of an Irish Catholic physician in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, O'Hara grew up conscious of the class and religious lines that divided the small town. He alternately excelled and failed at school, his failures usually due to disciplinary problems. O'Hara's father punished his son by forcing him to perform hard labor as penance for his bad behavior. Before leaving Pottsville, O'Hara worked at the local paper, the Pottsville Journal, and became romantically involved with a woman who was beyond his reach socially. Her social status and his heavy drinking led to the demise of the relationship. The social dynamic of Pottsville and O'Hara's familial and romantic experiences would affect his writing in the years to come.

O'Hara's father passed away in 1925, leaving the family in...

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This section contains 420 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Appointment in Samarra Study Guide
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