The University of Arizona has an impressive literary history, and many of the school’s graduates have gone on to become famous authors. Several famous writers graduated from the Arizona program, including John Steinbeck and William Shakespeare. Here are some of the most influential writers who attended or taught at the university.
One of America’s most celebrated novelists, John Steinbeck, was born in 1902 in Salinas, California. As a child, he had many adventures, moving around the state with his family. Steinbeck graduated from the University of Arizona in 1924 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He then went on to get a Master of Arts in English from Columbia University in New York City. Steinbeck taught at several universities and colleges, including California State University and the University of Iowa. The majority of his notable works – including The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden – were published during his lifetime. He died in 1968 in New York City at the age of 58.
Charlotte Brontë is most famous for her novel, Jane Eyre (1847). She was born in 1816 in Ireland. Although Jane Eyre was published posthumously in 1847, her first and only novel was actually completed by her in 1845. She moved to London with her family as a child. She attended a private school there and became a regular attender at the prestigious Royal Literary Society. In 1847, Charlotte married her cousin, Henry. The following year, the couple moved to Haworth in West Yorkshire, where Charlotte began to write regularly for the local newspaper. In 1849, she and her husband moved to an even larger farm where he worked as the estate’s gamekeeper. They had five children in total. In 1850, Charlotte was introduced to the work of another famous English author, Emily Brontë. The two became fast friends and shared a love of literature. In 1851, Charlotte was encouraged to write by Emily and her publisher. She then completed Jane Eyre in three months, which was published in the next year. The book became an instant success and is still considered one of the greatest thrillers ever written. During her lifetime, Charlotte wrote several other famous novels, including Villette (1853), which she considered her best work. She and her family spent their winters in Ireland and their summers in Haworth. In her last years, Charlotte became very religious and withdrew from public life. She died in 1855 at the age of forty-seven. In 1968, she was declared a national treasure by the British government.
William Shakespeare is often considered the greatest playwright of all time. As a student at the University of Arizona, his fellow graduates would have included Jerome Kern and Dorothy Parker. He was born in Stratford-on-Avon, the son of a market gardener. In 1564, he married a wealthy noblewoman, Anne Hathaway, whom he had met at a friend’s wedding. The couple had three children together, but their unions were plagued by unfaithfulness. This, coupled with increasing debts, led to several separations. By the time Shakespeare was 37, his marriage to Anne had broken down, and he had to borrow money from a few friends to pay off his debts. In 1597, he traveled to London and began to write plays for the King’s Men, the royal company that Shakespeare later joined. He is best known for his work, The Complete Works, which was published in 1904. During his lifetime, his plays were highly coveted and seen by thousands. Many of his plays have been performed more than once, and some have been adapted for films and TV shows. In 1944, the Folio Society published a collected edition of his complete works, which was edited by Edward Burns and Simon Bladel. The first draft of the complete works ran to 12 volumes and is still considered a masterpiece by many critics. It is estimated that Shakespeare wrote around 250 plays during his career. Several of his most famous works have been turned into films, including Romeo and Juliet (Romeo and Juliette, in French), Hamlet (La Hamleta), and King Lear (El Rey Lear). In 2010, a Broadway production of King Lear became the longest-running play in Broadway history, finally closing in September 2017 after 21,528 performances. The play has been performed in the United Kingdom, Germany, and across the world.
As you can see, the University of Arizona offers an incredible range of degrees and courses. The creative writing program is a great fit for students who want to pursue a literary career, and several famous writers have gained much success from their studies there. If you’re thinking about applying, make sure to read the university website for further information about the programs and to see if any scholarships are available. The website also provides you with an application form, so you can get started on the journey to becoming a professional writer.