John O'Hara, American novelist and short story writer (1905-1970), was born into an Irish Catholic family in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He began to write fiction in 1927; his first novel, Appointment in Samarra (1934), won popular acclaim and established O'Hara as a craftsman of prose. Over the following years, O'Hara explored his interest in the effects of money, class and social mores on individual freedom in many widely praised works, including Butterfield 8 (1935; film version, 1960) and From the Terrace (1958; film version, 1960). In 1956 he received the National Book Award for Ten North Frederick (1955; film version, 1958). O'Hara's works also include many short stories, most published by The New Yorker and the late novels Ourselves to Know (1960) and The Lockwood Concern (1965). He collaborated with the team of Rodgers & Hart, writing the book for the musical Pal Joey based on his short stories.
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