Carrie (novel)

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Carrie is American author Stephen King's first published novel, released in 1974. Carrie is an epistolary novel. It revolves around the titular character Carrie, a shy high-school girl, who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who tease her. King has commented that he finds the work to be "raw" and "with a surprising power to hurt and horrify." It is one of the most frequently banned books in United States schools.[1] Much of the book is written in an epistolary structure, through newspaper clippings, magazine articles, letters, and excerpts from books.

Several adaptations of Carrie have been released, including a 1976 feature film, a 1988 Broadway musical, a 1999 feature film sequel, and a 2002 television movie.

The book is dedicated to King's wife Tabitha: "This is for Tabby, who got me into it- and then bailed me out of it."


Publication history

Carrie was actually King's fourth novel[2] but the first to be published. It was written while he was living in a trailer in Hermon, Maine, on a portable typewriter (on which he also wrote Misery) that belonged to his wife Tabitha. It began as a short story intended for Cavalier magazine, but King tossed the first three pages of his work in the garbage.[3] Of King's published short stories at the time, he recalled,

His wife fished the pages out of the garbage and encouraged him to finish the story; he followed her advice and expanded it into a novel.[5] King said, "I persisted because I was dry and had no better ideas… my considered opinion was that I had written the world's all-time loser."[6] Carrie is based on a composite of two girls Stephen King went to school with.

King says he wondered what it would have been like to have been raised by such a mother, and based the story itself on a reversal of the Cinderella fairy tale. He also told biographer George Beahm that the girl later "married a man who was as odd as her, had kids, and eventually killed herself."[7]

Carrie’s telekinesis resulted from King’s earlier reading about this topic. King also did a short stint as a high school English teacher at Hampden Academy, a job he eventually quit after receiving the payment for the paperback publishing sale of Carrie.

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