at Toko-Ri 1953 film
Paradise 1953 film
Men of the
Fighting Lady 1954 film
Until They Sail 1957 film based on a short story
included in Return to Paradise
Sayonara 1957 film nominated for 10
Academy Awards, won 4; including
Best Supporting Actress, for
Miyoshi Umeki the first and as of
2010, the only East Asian Actress to
win an Oscar.
South Pacific 1958 film
Paradise 1959–1962 television series
Hawaii 1966 film
The Hawaiians 1970 film
Centennial 1978 TV miniseries
Caravans 1978 film starring Anthony Quinn
Space 1985 TV miniseries
James A. Michener's
South Pacific 2001 television movie
|Books — fiction
Book Title Year Published
Tales of the South Pacific 1947
The Fires of Spring 1949
Return to Paradise 1950
The Bridges at Toko-ri 1953
The Source 1965
The Drifters 1971
The Watermen 1978
The Covenant 1980
The Novel 1991
South Pacific 1992
Miracle in Seville 1995
|James A. Michener Society
Main article: James A. Michener Society
The James A. Michener Society was formed in the fall of 1998 and is composed of people who share a common interest in James Michener's life and work. The following
words, excerpted from a letter by the late John Kings, James Michener's long-time friend and literary assistant, describe the purpose of the James A. Michener Society...
The Purpose of the Society is to:
The Society accomplishes this through a number of activities. An electronic newsletter is published periodically. An annual meeting of members is held at locations closely
associated with the life of James Michener. In the past, they have been held at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, home of the James A. Michener Library and
Archives; Austin, Texas, where Michener was associated with the Writing School and lived the last years of his life; Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Michener's childhood home
and the location of the Michener Art Museum; Easton, Maryland, where Michener lived while writing Chesapeake; Kent State University, where he reported on the tragic
shooting on that college's campus in 1970; San Antonio, for his epic Texas as well as The Eagle and the Raven; and St. Petersburg, where he lived while writing
Recessional. Society activities provide the occasion for sharing of memories and anecdotes that illuminate the Michener books and other writings in a special way.
Eventually, the Society expects to sponsor seminars, lectures and other events that will provide opportunities for fellowship among members and a forum for the discussion
of James Michener's writings and the many facets of his life.
[The Society operates under the aegis of the University of Northern Colorado Foundation. All funds are deposited with the Foundation for the use of the Society and all
contributions are deductible by donors since the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.]
For more information about the Society, a Michener photo gallery, many links related to JAM, and a membership application form, visit the Society's official website http://www.
|James A. Michener
Born February 3, 1907
Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States
Died October 16, 1997 (aged 90)
Austin, Texas, United States
Short story writer
Tales of the South Pacific (1946)
1948: Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
1977: Presidential Medal of Freedom
2008: Honorary portrait image on a United States postage stamp
|World of James A. Michener -001-
James A. Michener @ Wikipedia
|James A. Michener
|James A. Michener
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Albert Michener ( /ˈmɪtʃnər/; February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997) was
an American author of more than 40 titles, the majority of which were sweeping
sagas, covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and
incorporating historical facts into the stories. Michener was known for the
meticulous research behind his work.
Michener's major books include 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. His
nonfiction works include the 1968 Iberia about his travels in Spain and Portugal, his
1992 memoir The World Is My Home, and Sports in America. Return to Paradise
combines fictional short stories with Michener's factual descriptions of the Pacific
areas where they take place.
Michener wrote that he did not know who his biological parents were or exactly
when or where he was born. He claimed he was raised a Quaker by an adoptive
mother, Mabel Michener, in Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude in 1929 from
Swarthmore College in English and psychology, he traveled and studied in Europe
for two years. Michener then took a job as a high school English teacher at The Hill
School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. From 1933 to 1936 he taught English at George
School, in Newtown, Pennsylvania, then attended Colorado State Teachers College
(now the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado), earned his master's
degree, and taught there for several years. The library at the University of Northern
Colorado is named for him. In 1935 Michener married Patti Koon. He went to
Harvard for a one-year teaching stint from 1939 to 1940 and left teaching to join
Macmillan Publishers as their social studies education editor.
Michener was called to active duty during World War II in the United States Navy. He
traveled throughout the South Pacific on various missions that were assigned to
him because his base commanders thought he was the son of Admiral Marc
Mitscher. His travels became the setting for his breakout work Tales of the South
In 1960, Michener was chairman of the Bucks County committee to elect John F.
Kennedy. In 1962, he unsuccessfully ran as a Democratic candidate for a seat in
the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, a decision he later
considered a misstep. "My mistake was to run in 1962 as a Democratic candidate
for Congress. [My wife] kept saying, 'Don't do it, don't do it.' I lost and went back to
writing books." Michener was later Secretary for the 1967–68 Pennsylvania
Michener graduated from Doylestown High School in 1925. He attended
Swarthmore College, where he played basketball, and joined the Phi Delta Theta
fraternity. He graduated with highest honors. He attended Colorado State Teachers
College (now named the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado), and
earned his master's degree.
Michener's writing career began during World War II, when as a lieutenant in the
U.S. Navy, he was assigned to the South Pacific Ocean as a naval historian;. He
later turned his notes and impressions into Tales of the South Pacific, his first book,
published in 1947 when he was 40. It became the basis for the Broadway and film
musical South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Tales of the South Pacific
won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1948.
Michener tried his hand at television writing as well, but found no success in that
medium. Among other things, American television producer Bob Mann wanted
James Michener to co-create a weekly anthology series from Tales of the South
Pacific, with Michener as narrator. Rogers and Hammerstein, however, owned all
dramatic rights to the novel and did not give up ownership. Michener did lend his
name to a different television series, Adventures in Paradise, in 1959. In the late
1950s, Michener began working as a roving editor for Readers' Guide to Periodical
Literature. He gave up that work in 1970.
Michener was a popular writer during his lifetime; his novels sold an estimated 75
million copies worldwide. His novel Hawaii (published in 1959) was based on
extensive research. Nearly all of his subsequent novels were based on detailed
historical, cultural, and even geological research. Centennial, which documented
several generations of families in the West, was made into a popular twelve-part
television miniseries of the same name and aired on NBC from October 1978
through February 1979.
In 1996, State House Press published James A. Michener: A Bibliography, compiled
by David A. Groseclose. Its more than 2,500 entries from 1923 to 1995 include
magazine articles, forewords, and other works.
Michener's prodigious output made for lengthy novels, several of which run more
than 1,000 pages. The author states in My Lost Mexico that at times he would spend
12 to 15 hours per day at his typewriter for weeks on end, and that he used so much
paper his filing system had trouble keeping up.
|Michener's typewriter at the Michener Museum, Doylestown,
|James A. Michener's Typewriter
Michener was married three times. In 1935 he married Patti Koon. His second wife was Vange Nord (married in 1948). Michener met his third wife Mari Yoriko Sabusawa at
a luncheon in Chicago and they were married in 1955 (the same year as his divorce from Nord). His novel Sayonara is quasi-autobiographical.
Michener gave away a great deal of the money he earned. Over the years, Mari Yoriko Sabusawa Michener played a major role in directing donations by her husband,
totaling more than $100 million. Among the beneficiaries were the University of Texas, the Iowa Writers Workshop and Swarthmore College (stated by a New York Times'
notice about her death).
In 1989, Michener donated the royalty earnings from the Canadian edition of his novel Journey, published in Canada by McClelland & Stewart, to create the Journey Prize, an
annual Canadian literary prize worth $10,000 (Cdn) that is awarded for the year's best short story published by an emerging Canadian writer.
|Final years and death
In his final years, he lived in Austin, Texas, and, aside from being a prominent celebrity fan of the Texas Longhorns women's basketball team, he founded an MFA program
now named the Michener Center for Writers.
In October 1997, Michener ended the daily dialysis treatment that had kept him alive for four years. He died on October 16 of kidney failure at the age of 90.
He was buried in Austin, Texas, and is honored by a monument at the Texas State Cemetery.
Michener left his entire $10 million estate (including the copyrights to his works) to Swarthmore College.
On the evening of September 14, 1998, the Raffles Hotel in Singapore named one of their suites after the illustrious author, in memory of his patronage and passion for the
hotel. Michener first stayed at the Singapore hotel just after World War II in 1949, and in an interview a decade before his death he said it was a luxury for him, a young man,
to stay at the Raffles Hotel back then, and had the time of his life. It was officially christened by Steven Green, then Ambassador of United States to Singapore, who noted the
writer's penchant of describing 'faraway places with strange-sounding names' to his American book readers. His last stay was in 1985 when he came to Singapore for the
launch of the book Salute to Singapore, for which he wrote the foreword. He was so fond of his last stay in Raffles that he took the hotel room key home with him as a
souvenir. The suite contains a selection of Michener's works, like Caribbean, The Drifters and Hawaii, as well as two photographic portraits of the author taken at the hotel
and in Chinatown in 1985. After his death, the Michener estate corresponded with the hotel management to return the room key, and from there the idea to name the hotel
room after him, came into fruition. The souvenir key was duly returned to the hotel, and now on display in the Raffles Hotel Museum.
On May 12, 2008, the United States Postal Service honored him with a 59¢ Distinguished Americans series postage stamp.
The Library at The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, his alma mater, is named The James Michener Library in his honour.
|James A. Michener Art Museum
Main article: James A. Michener Art Museum
Opened in 1988 in Michener's hometown of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the James A. Michener Art Museum houses collections of local and well-known artists. The
museum, constructed from the remains of an old prison, is a non-profit organization, with both permanent and rotating collections. Two prominent permanent fixtures are
the James A. Michener display room and the Nakashima Reading Room, constructed in honor of his third wife's Japanese heritage. The museum is known for its
permanent collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings.
In addition to novels, Michener was very involved with non-fiction, movies, TV show series and radio. This is only a major part of what is listed in the Library of Congress files.
The category list would be very complex to add.
|Books — non-fiction
Book Title Year Published Notes
The Voice of Asia 1951
Rascals in Paradise 1957
The Future of the Social
Studies ("The Problem
of the Social Studies") 1939 Editor
The Floating World 1954
The Bridge at Andau 1957
Japanese Prints: From
the Early Masters to
the Modern 1959
With notes by
Report of the County
The Modern Japanese
Print: An Appreciation 1968
Iberia 1968 Travelogue
Presidential Lottery 1969
The Quality of Life 1970
Kent State: What
Happened and Why 1971
Michener Miscellany –
Firstfruits, A Harvest
of 25 Years of Israeli
Sports in America 1976
Some Notes on the Novel 1978
James A Michener's USA:
The People and the Land 1981
Collectors, Forgers —
And A Writer: A Memoir 1983
Michener Anthology 1985
Six Days in Havana 1989
Pilgrimage: A Memoir of
Poland and Rome 1990
The Eagle and the Raven 1990
My Lost Mexico 1992
The World Is My Home 1992 Autobiography
Creatures of the Kingdom 1993
Literary Reflections 1993
William Penn 1994
Ventures in Editing 1995
This Noble Land 1996
Three Great Novels of
World War II 1996
A Century of Sonnets 1997
Hayes John Phillip, James A. Michener: A Biography,
Bobbs Merril 1985