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James A. Michener

From Academic Kids

James Albert Michener (February 3, 1907? - October 16, 1997) was the American author of such books as Tales of the South Pacific (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1948), Hawaii, The Drifters, Centennial, The Source, The Fires of Spring, Chesapeake, Caribbean, Caravans, Alaska, Texas and Poland. The majority of his over 40 titles are sweeping sagas covering the lives of many generations in a particular geographic locale. His non-fiction works include the 1992 memoir The World is My Home and Sports in America.

Michener wrote that he did not know who his parents were or exactly when and where he was born. He was raised by an adoptive mother, Mabel Michener, in Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and some have argued that Mabel was in fact his biological mother. He graduated summa cum laude from Swarthmore College in 1929. His writing career began during World War II, during which, as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, he was assigned to the South Pacific Ocean as a naval historian. His notes and impressions were later turned into Tales of the South Pacific, his first book, which in turn was the basis for the musical South Pacific.

On January 10, 1977, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Gerald R. Ford.

Books by James Michener

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