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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Shaping Our 'Writing Destiny'

“There is a destiny that shapes our ends rough, hew them as we will.” – Frank Harris

Editor, novelist, short story writer and journalist, Harris was born in Ireland on Valentine’s Day, 1856.  He emigrated to the U.S. at a young age, and then gravitated back to Ireland and Europe in the 1880s before ultimately becoming a U.S. citizen in 1921, living the final 10 years of his life between the two continents. 

A law school graduate from the University of Kansas, Harris tried a legal career for several years before deciding that it was too boring and what he really wanted to do was write.  He attracted much attention during his lifetime for his irascible, aggressive personality, editorship of famous periodicals, and friendship with the talented and famous.  In addition to authoring popular books like The Bomb and The Yellow Ticket and Other Stories. 

Despite many writing successes, Harris may be best known today for his 4-volume memoir My Life and Loves (he was married 3 times, including the author/playwright Enid Bagnold), loosely based on his life despite it’s “Memoir” title.

“Memoirs,” he said with tongue firmly in cheek, “are a well-known form of fiction.”       “I am, really, a great writer; my only difficulty is in finding great readers.”

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