Stephen Crane cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Stephen Crane

American novelist, short story writer, poet, and journalist

1871   -   1900

movement: literary realism
country of citizenship: United States of America
language of expression: English
educated at: Syracuse University, Claverack College, The Pennington School
occupation: writer, journalist, poet, baseball player, novelist, screenwriter

Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900) was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation. The ninth surviving child of Methodist parents, Crane began writing at the age of four and had several articles published by the age of 16. Having little interest in university studies though he was active in a fraternity, he left Syracuse University in 1891 to work as a reporter and writer. Crane's first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, generally considered by critics to be the first work of American literary Naturalism. He won international acclaim in 1895 for his Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, which he wrote without having any battle experience. In 1896, Crane endured a highly publicized scandal after appearing as a witness in the trial of a suspected prostitute, an acquaintance named Dora Clark. Late that year he accepted an offer to travel to Cuba as a war correspondent. As he waited in Jacksonville, Florida, for passage, he met Cora Taylor, with whom he began a lasting relationship. En route to Cuba, Crane's vessel, the SS Commodore, sank off the coast of Florida, leaving him and others adrift for 30 hours in a dinghy. Crane described the ordeal in "The Open Boat". During the final years of his life, he covered conflicts in Greece (accompanied by Cora, recognized as the first woman war correspondent) and later lived in England with her. He was befriended by writers such as Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells. Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis in a Black Forest sanatorium in Germany at the age of 28. At the time of his death, Crane was considered an important figure in American literature. After he was nearly forgotten for two decades, critics revived interest in his life and work. Crane's writing is characterized by vivid intensity, distinctive dialects, and irony. Common themes involve fear, spiritual crises and social isolation. Although recognized primarily for The Red Badge of Courage, which has become an American classic, Crane is also known for his poetry, journalism, and short stories such as "The Open Boat", "The Blue Hotel", "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky", and The Monster. His writing made a deep impression on 20th-century writers, most prominent among them Ernest Hemingway, and is thought to have inspired the Modernists and the Imagists.
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The Red Badge of Courage

novel by Stephen Crane

author: Stephen Crane


Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

novel by Stephen Crane

author: Stephen Crane


The Open Boat

1897 short story by Stephen Crane

author: Stephen Crane


The Monster

1898 novella by Stephen Crane

author: Stephen Crane


George's Mother

book by Stephen Crane

author: Stephen Crane

The Blue Hotel

short story by Stephen Crane

author: Stephen Crane

Flowers of Asphalt

book by Stephen Crane

author: Stephen Crane

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