Browsing named entities in a specific section of Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 2 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.).
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d closes with the work of William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry (1862-1910), whose sudden rise and enormous popularity are one of the romances of the history of the short story.
Only the bare facts of his biography need detain us: his Southern origin, his limited education, his sixteen years in Texas, his unfortunate experience as a bank clerk, his flight to South America, his return after a few months to serve a sentence in the Ohio State prison, and finally his last years in New York City—as picturesque a life as may be found in the annals of literature.
His short story career began almost by accident, the result of his enforced leisure in prison.
His first story, Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking, redolent of Bret Harte, was published in McClure's magazine in 1899.
Following it irregularly, came a series of Western and South American tales, and then finally a most remarkable output of stories dealing with the human comedy and tragedy of New York City.