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John O’Hara Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Appointment in Samarra (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Butterfield 8 (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Rage to Live (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Farmer's Hotel (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ten North Frederick (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Family Party (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
From the Terrace (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ourselves to Know (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Laugh (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Elizabeth Appleton (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lockwood Concern (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Instrument (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lovey Childs (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ewings (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Second Ewings (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Doctor's Son (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

An Artist is His Own Fault (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Selected Letters (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Doctor's Son and Other Stories (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hope Of Heaven (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Files on Parade (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pal Joey (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hellbox (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Selected Short Stories (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sermons and Soda-Water (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Assembly (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Horse Knows the Way (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five plays (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cape Cod Lighter (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hat on the Bed (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
49 Stories (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Short Stories of John O'Hara (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Waiting for Winter (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Turn (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Novellas of John O'Hara (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
And Other Stories (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The O'Hara Generation (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pipe Night (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Time Element & Other Short Stories (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gibbsville, PA (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good Samaritan & Other Stories (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Collected Stories of John O'Hara (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
John O'Hara's Hollywood (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Selected Stories (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The New York Stories (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

50 Great Short Stories(1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Points of View(1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wonderful Town(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

John Henry O’Hara was a literary fiction author that over the years wrote more than 100 short stories. Deemed a legend in literary fiction, he was one of the inventors of the short story style now most commonly seen in “The New Yorker.”

John loved to write on themes of sexuality, money and class among Americans. As such, his many depictions of Broadway and Hollywood often explore the snobbish nature of Los Angeles.

He made his fiction writing debut when he published “Appointment in Samarra” in 1934 and never looked back since. The work would become a favorite with the critics and paved the way for O’Hara to become the author he is today. He would be a bestselling author by the time he turned thirty years old.

O’Hara was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania to what was then a very rich American-Irish family.
Even though he was privileged enough to live in the rich part of the city, his distinct Irish Catholic background made him an outsider in a world dominated by white Anglo Saxon Protestants. This was a theme that was very common in his later works.

While he was in high school in New York, he lost his father to illness and his dreams of going to Yale died with him. The family fell from its privileged position of being supported by a rich doctor to insolvency almost overnight, which was a huge blow.

Coming from having the rich trappings of domestic servants exotic cars and club memberships to nothing, gave O’Hara status anxiety that he never shook throughout his life. He could never live up to the fact that he never attended Yale, even when he was doing so much better than his colleagues who had.
With growing literary acclaim, he asked Yale to award him with an honorary degree but since he asked for it, it was denied. He decided to then concentrate on his writing, even though he never got over it his whole life.

John Henry O’Hara started working as a reporter for several papers before he was employed to write short stories for magazines in New York City. Early in his career, he also worked as a press agent, radio commentator and film critic.

He wrote “Appointment in Samarra,” his debut in 1934, which received high praise from Ernest Hemingway, who said it was marvelously written by a master of writing.

Over more than forty years, O’Hara continued to publish stories as he wrote screenplays, novels, plays and novellas. He also wrote more than 400 short stories, most of which would become very popular.

When the Second World War broke out, he worked in the Pacific theater as a correspondent before he came back to continue writing his novels and screenplays. A man wearing many hats he decided to become a newspaper columnist in the 1950s.

In his last ten years as an author, he wrote some magnificent works that have become icons in the literary fiction world. During this time, he published seven collections, six novels and more than a hundred novellas.

“Appointment in Samarra” by John Henry O’Hara’s the story of Caroline and Julian. They are introduced as two well off members of a country club in a small coal town in Pennsylvania. The action in the story happens over three days leading up to the 1930 Christmas holidays.

Julian the lead is a man prone to self destructive meltdowns that some people believe could be due to his resentment of his father. He is a medical doctor that had been instrumental in the setting up of his Cadillac dealership business.

Over several years, his poor business skills started to show and he started borrowing money from friends to prop up his heavily indebted dealership. Julian has been known for heavy drinking but things go from bad to worse when he cannot control himself in public.

He is very much in love with his wife and she loves him dearly. But an implosion over the course of three days could bring everything crashing down. He throws his drink in his friend’s face, giving him a black eye and word of the incident spreads like wildfire.

Since his friend is a Catholic, he may just lose half of that community that definitely will not be buying any cars from him.

John Henry O’Hara’s novel “Butterfield 8” is a work set in New York during the depression. It is a time where the big hitters are taking risks and coming up empty handed. There is trouble on the streets and hardly any work to be had. The only people that have been enjoying some good times are the Yale crowd.

The novel opens to the body of a young beautiful woman being found on Long Island beach. Could it be suicide, murder or an accident? The circumstances of the death are a mystery but the author seizes upon the tragedy, as he imagines what life was like for a woman during 1930 era New York.

Throwing in sex and any other thing to titilatte readers, she writes of a young and very beautiful woman named Gloria Wandrous, who has a strong libido and so much beauty. On the other hand, there is Weston Liggett who is a rich married man that becomes enchanted with Gloria.

Through a grotesque series of abrupt decisions and coincidences, the two try to reconcile their actions after a night spent together.

“Ten North Frederick” by John Henry O’Hara tells a story of a family, social class and man on the decline. The Chapin family has been one of the most prominent in town as they occupy the most opulent town on the best land in the small community.

Given their wealth, they have significant social, economic and political influence in their community. The novel is set in 1945 or at least the opening of it. As it opens, Joe Chapin the family matriarch is being laid to rest in a manner befitting of a man if his status in the society.

But the author starts retracing the history of the Chapin family and particularly that of Joe. He dismantles the facade brick by brick to reveal a rotting foundation. What was once a great family was facing inevitable decline as the social order changed for the worse.

Book Series In Order » Authors » John O’Hara

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