James Albert Michener (February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997) was an American author of more than 40 books, the majority of which were fictional, lengthy family sagas covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating solid history. Michener was known for the popularity of his works; he had numerous bestsellers and works selected for Book-of-the-Month club. He was also known for his meticulous research behind the books.
Michener's fiction novels 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 non-fiction works include Iberia, about his travels in Spain and Portugal; his memoir titled 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.
His first book was adapted as the popular Broadway musical South Pacific by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, and later as a film by the same name, adding to his financial success. Several other works were adapted for feature films or TV films. Having grown up poor, Michener worked hard and lived modestly. He became a major philanthropist, donating more than 100 million dollars to educational, writing and related cultural institutions, including 37 million to the University of Texas...
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