Sol Stein

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Biography

Sol Stein edited and published some of the outstanding writers of the 20th century, including James Baldwin, David Frost, Jack Higgins, Elia Kazan, Dylan Thomas, Lionel Trilling, W. H. Auden, Jacques Barzun, and three heads of state. He is a prize-winning playwright produced on Broadway, an anthologized poet, the author of nine novels, plus nonfiction books, screenplays, and TV dramas. His novel The Magician sold over one million copies. His book Stein on Writing is now in trade paperback, and on tape, CD, and MP3. A more advanced writing book, How to Grow a Novel, has been selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club. Stein’s work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Finish, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Japanese, and Russian.

Stein has lectured on creative writing at Columbia University, the University of Iowa, and the University of California at Irvine, which presented him with the Distinguished Instructor Award in 1993 for his courses on dialogue and advanced fiction writing. Columbia University has established an archive for more than 1600 books published by Stein and Day, and an archive of Stein’s own manuscripts and his editorial work on the manuscripts of successful authors. In 1999, a distinguished panel selected by the Modern Library chose two nonfiction books edited by Stein in the top half of “the 100 best nonfiction works of the century,” James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son and George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. Native Sons (8/2/04) contains the correspondence that produced Notes of a Native Son, as well as newly-discovered photographs and their two collaborations, "Dark Runner" and the television play Equal in Paris.

Stein's play "Napoleon" won the Dramatists Alliance Prize for "the best full-length play of 1953" and was performed both in New York and California. With Tennessee Williams, William Inge, and Robert Anderson, he was a founding member of the Playwrights Group at the Actors Studio.

In 1962, Stein founded the book publishing firm of Stein and Day and served as its President and Editor-in-Chief for over a quarter of a century. In 1985, the "Writers' Yearbook" rated Stein and Day #3 of the top 50 U.S. publishing firms based on benefits to authors. Elia Kazan, director of five Pulitzer-prize plays and winner of three Academy Awards for directing, in his autobiography said, "My publisher Sol Stein was my producer, my editor Sol Stein was my director." Kazan's The Understudy is dedicated to Stein, "who saw what I didn't think possible." Books Stein published were on bestseller lists for nineteen consecutive years.

Stein holds degrees from the City College of New York and Columbia University. He is the creator of three computer software programs for writers, the award-winning WritePro®, FirstAid for Writers®, and FictionMaster®. His software is in use by over 110,000 writers in 38 countries.

Sol Stein has been interviewed on the Today Show, the Tonight Show, the Larry King Show, the David Frost Program, and the major interview programs in Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Hartford, Boston, New York, Paris, and London. Further information about Stein may be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, and Who's Who in Entertainment.


Selected Works

Fiction
The Magician
Beautiful and gripping. I cannot recall a novel of this type with greater pleasure.
--The New York Times Book Review
Nonfiction
Stein on Writing
“Sol Stein went over my manuscript with an infallible eye for the soft spots in my prose, giving me one of the best editorial readings I’ve ever had.”
--Lionel Trilling
How to Grow a Novel
“My publisher Sol Stein was my producer, and my editor Sol Stein was my director. Sol saw what I didn’t think possible.”
--Elia Kazan



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