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James A. Michener Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Tales of the South Pacific (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Return to Paradise (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rascals In Paradise (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Watermen: Selections from Chesapeake (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Creatures of the Kingdom (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Bridge at Andau (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Japanese Prints from Early Masters to the Modern (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Modern Japanese Print: An Appreciation (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Presidential Lottery: The Reckless Gamble in Our Electoral System (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kent State: What Happened and Why (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Michener Miscellany, 1950-1970 (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sports in America (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
James A. Michener's USA: The People and The Land (With: Peter Chaitin) (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Six Days in Havana (With: John Kings) (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pilgrimage: A Memoir of Poland and Rome (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The World is My Home (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Lost Mexico: The Making of a Novel (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
James A. Michener's Writer's Handbook: Explorations in Writing and Publishing (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Literary Reflections (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ventures In Editing (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
This Noble Land: My Vision for America (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Islam: The Misunderstood Religion (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

This Was Your War(1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Firstfruits: A Harvest of 25 Years of Israeli Writing(1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great World War II Stories(1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Glorious Wings(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

James Albert Michener or simply James A. Michener, as he is popularly known as, is a well known novelist, philanthropist and story writer from Pennsylvania, United States. James was born on February 3, 1907 in New York, United States. He is most famous for writing the multi-generation historical and fictional stories. The titles of his novels are usually based on a particular geographical location. James has stated in his interviews that he was greatly influenced by the works of Charles Dickens. In his overall writing career, James has written more than 40 novels and stories, most of which are based on the historical fiction, Biographical, Memoirs and History genres. His writings typically include lengthy family dramas, describing many generations located in a particular geographical location. Many of his books have been bestsellers and widely popular for being selected in many Book-of-the-Month clubs. His works depict the in-depth research done by him before penning down the stories. The most notable work of James includes, Hawaii, Caribbean, Alaska, Poland and many more. The non-fiction works of James include Iberia, which is based on his travel experiences in Portugal and Spain. Other non-fiction works include Sports in America. The first of James was adapted by Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rogers into South Pacific, a popular Broadway musical, and also into a film having the same title. James Michener has worked hard throughout his life and has a lived a modest life. As a philanthropist, he donated over 100 million dollars to many educational and cultural institutions as well as writing associations. The Texas University was privileged to receive a donation of 37 million dollars from him.

Michener was adopted and raised by another woman and does not know about his biological parents. Mabel Michener raised him as his son in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He passed out school from Pennsylvania in the year 1925 and went on to attend the Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Michener was a regular member of the college basketball team. He graduated in the year 1929 with a degree in Psychology and English subjects. After that, he went to Europe and studied here for a couple of years. Later, he began teaching at a school in Pennsylvania as an English teacher. Between the years 1933 and 1936, Michener taught English to the students of the George School in Newton, Pennsylvania. Later, he got the Master’s degree from the Colorado University and also taught there for a few years. Because of his contribution towards literature, the Colorado University has named their library after him. He went to teach at Harvard from 1939 to 1940, and then joined the Macmillan Publishers as an education editor for their social studies. During the time of the Second World War, he was called by the Navy of the United States for active duty.

Michener was mistaken to be the son of the Admiral Marc Mitscher by his base commanders and as a result, he was asked to travel on various assignments around the Pacific Ocean. He gained a lot of experiences during these trips, which he has described in his first novel. When John F. Kennedy was elected in the year 1960 by the Bucks County, Michener was their active chairman. He also contested election from the state of Pennsylvania, although he later regretted that decision because of his unsuccessful attempt. In the year 1968, he served for Joseph S. Clark as his campaign manager and later became the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention. While on the national duty as a Naval lieutenant during the Second World War, Michener began his writing career by gaining experiences from the assignments. His first novel was published in the year 1947. He even opted for television writing as a career during that time, but did not see much success. He was approached by Bob Mann, the famous American television producer for co-creating an anthology series and serving as a narrator, based on his first novel. However, the rights were already bought by Hammerstein and Rogers for their Broadway musical. He did some television work during the late 1950s.

During his career as a writer, Michener had become quite famous as his novels had sold more than 75 million copies all over the world. His novel Centennial, which was based on the several generations of the families, was adapted into a television miniseries comprising of 12 parts. The miniseries was aired from 1978 to 199 on NBC under the same name. His typical style of writing would sometimes cause the novels to be more than 1,000 pages long as he used to spend around 12 hours typing and used to use a lot of paper. Patti Koon, Vange Nord and Mari Yoriko Sabusawa were the three wives of Michener, he had divorced the first two before marrying the third one. He wrote a quasi-autobiographical novel named Sayonara, after his third wife died in the year 1994. His donations in millions as a philanthropist to a number of institutions and Writers Workshop is considered noteworthy. He also contributed his earnings from the novel Journey for the Journey Prize, which awarded to the best story of the year by an emerging writer from Canada. Before dying on October 16, 1997 in Austin, Michener used to live in Austin along with his wife. The University provides fellowships in the name of Michener to the students of the graduate writing program. Michener succumbed to his terminal kidney disease after battling it for more than four years on dialysis. He was cremated in Austin. The Postal Service of United States honored Michener with a postage stamp in the year 2008. He was awarded the Lone Sailor Award in the year 1993 for his contribution to the Navy. The government of Pennsylvania opened an Art Museum and a Literary Society in his name to honor his literary works.

The first novel written by Michener was published in the year 1947 under the title “Tales of the South Pacific”. The novel depicts the lives of a man and a woman who are caught in the middle of a war in the Pacific Ocean. A young Marine falls for a beautiful Tonkinese girl. The girl is depicted as Nurse Nellie and the man as Emile De Becque. The novel went on to win the Pulitzer Award in the year 1948 for its beautiful description of soldiers, nurses and sailors craving for love during the war times in the Solomon Islands and the Norfolk Island. Another beautiful novel written by Michener was published under the title “Hawaii” in the year 1959 and shows depictions of the region of Hawaii, United States. The novel describes the dwelling of Polynesian seafarers in the volcanic islands of Hawaii. They live a happy life in the tropical paradise until the arrival of the American missionaries in the early nineteenth century, who bring a new way of life with them. Michener had done a lot of research before writing the novel. He has described it as a story of distinct people who try to keep their identity and live in harmony with one another.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James A. Michener

3 Responses to “James A. Michener”

  1. Ashley Gray: 3 months ago

    Thank you for this listing. I can tick off a few that I have read, and many more to go. With each, Texas being the most recent, I feel rewarded and richer. While they are fiction, history lessons have never been so much fun.

  2. Georgette Straw: 9 months ago

    Thank you for the list of James A. Michener. I was hoping to find it, so I can get the rest of his books. I like his style of writing. Thank you again for the list.

    • Graeme: 9 months ago

      You are welcome 🙂


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