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O. Henry - The Talented Prisoner!  

You must have heard of many renowned authors creating masterpieces written in good ambiance; but have you ever heard of a writer stirring the world with his novels while in prison? The writer in talk here is none other than the famous author, O. Henry.

The real name of renowned author, O. Henry was William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910). For more information on this famous author, click here. He has written around 400 plays through his lifetime which are famous for their wit, humor and characterization and the strange twist in the end.

While being talented and great at writing, O. Henry was not lucky enough for fortune to shine upon him. When he worked as a bank teller in Houston,the author was accused of stealing a few hundred dollars. This also initiated his rather sudden move to Houston.

But after a few years, O. Henry returned to visit his dying wife. But he was arrested and put into prison for 5 years. This ignited the spark in him and he took the pen name of O. Henry. His inmates at the prison provided him with perfect fodder and characters for his fiction.

Being a model inmate, Henry was released after only three years in jail. He passed away in 1910 with as many as 600 stories but only 33 cents in his name!

After releasing from jail,he was a defeated man as he lost his job, his family, his wife and everything he owned. But being in jail, the writer in him developed. During his stay in prison, Porter worked as a pharmacist and was treated more like an employee than a prisoner, and this allowed him freedom and more time to devote to his works.

He wrote at least twelve stories in jail. McClure's had already published one of his stories, "The Miracle of Lava Canyon," in 1897. After leaving prison O Henry went to New York City, where he published more than 300 stories and gained fame as America's favorite short-story writer.

Looks like every famous man goes to prison at least once in his/her lifetime, eh? What do you think? By the way, this example of O. Henry writing books in prison is also a good writing tip if anyone is willing to try. I wonder whether there are any takers ? :P


  1. Bubbles of FireWhiskey  

    oh my god! you're reviewing some of my favourite writers!!! henry, christie, dahl... wow!!! your doing a great job...

    and i agree with you, i truly feel that creative people had to rebellious...

  2. Meghna  

    Hi bubbles,
    I'm glad you liked the posts and some new thoguht....creative people had to be rebellious...he...he :D

  3. Solitaire  

    Frankly speaking, I bought a book called 100 stories by O Henry and was hardly able to go through a few. It was too much for me to handle!

  4. τ ħ€ ĐάЎđяёάmёя  

    I m going to thrash up sumone now to get a stowie book published soon :D

  5. Meghna  

    Hi Solitaire,
    Ah! I like O. Henry's work and I hope you too gain the courage to go through this book....and enjoy it of course :D

  6. Meghna  

    Hi Dreamer,
    Hee..he...a good idea if it works :P

  7. Meghana  

    lol,gregory david roberts also wrote "Shantaram" in prison :)
    he wrote it twice ,it was trashed by the jail authorities :)

    more gyan :)\

    n nope i havent read "Eragon" :(

  8. Meghna  

    Hi Meghana,
    Thank you for this additional gyan too. I hope you get hold of the book soon :p

  9. abinash  

    Good dear. I tell u, u are one of the honest reader. Its great that u put light on O' henry. He is indeed great. I had a chance a few years back to read his works, though few. Good for reminding me that I need to buck up and frab myself few other works of this man. Thanks.

  10. Meghna  

    Hi Abhinash,
    Thanks for the compliment! I hope you do lay your hands upon his works and enjoy reading :P

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