"Hiroshima" is a novel published 1946 and written by the American author John Hersey. The novel was collected from an article originally run by the magazine The New Yorker in August of 1946. Initially, the magazine intended to run the full article over several issues but ended up dedicating on issue to it entirely. Only […]
John Hersey was an American Author and journalist who was born in Tientsin, China in 1914. The son of Protestant missionaries, Hersey learned to speak Chinese fluently before he learned to speak English. Hersey's family moved back to the United States when he was ten years old. Hersey was a good student in school and later attended Yale University where he was a member of the prestigious Skull and Bones Society. During the autumn of 1937, Hersey began working for Time magazine and was made into an overseas correspondent during World War II.
During the war, Hersey served as a correspondent in both the Pacific and European theaters. He traveled with the Allied troops on their invasion of Sicily and helped to properly evacuate wounded soldiers from Guadalcanal for which he was commended by the Secretary of the Navy. In 1942, he began writing full-length, non-fiction books with "Men on Bataan" and "Into the Valley" a year later in 1943. In 1944, Hersey published, "A Bell For Adano"; for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction the following year.
After the war, Hersey began working for The New Yorker and was sent to Japan where he found a letter written by a Jesuit missionary who had survived the atomic blast. Hersey thought this would make a good article and visited the missionary who introduced him to more survivors. The result was the article (and, eventually the book) titled "Hiroshima", for which he was critically acclaimed.
Hersey went on to write "The Wall" in 1950 about a Jewish community in Warsaw, Poland and "The Algiers Motel Incident" in 1968 about the '67 Detriot riots. Hersey taught two writing courses at Yale for the next 18 years and continued to teach until 1984.
In 1985, Hersey returned to Hiroshima forty years after the bomb was dropped to check up on the people whom he had featured in his book. The follow-up to Hiroshima was called, "The Aftermath" and was published in The New Yorker in it's July 1985 issue. The article was then added to the end of the published editions of the book as a fifth and final chapter.
John Hersey died at his home in Key West, Florida on March 24th 1993 and was buried in Martha's Vineyard. He was survived by his wife, their five children and six grandchildren.