Celebrated American satirist, critic, short story writer, and an editor; Bierce’s realistic and unsentimental writings earned him the nickname Bitter Bierce. His short stories are among the finest of the 19th century. He successfully experimented with several literary genres and was the first to employ Western settings in Gothic fiction.
He joined the Union Army and actively fought in the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. After resigning from the army, he wrote and edited various local journals including The San Francisco News Letter, The Argonaut, and The Wasp. He became West Coast’s leading writer and critic.
Bierce is renowned for his ghost and war stories, the latter being based on his own experiences. He also wrote poetry but his most famous work is The Devil’s Dictionary. Originally a newspaper serial, it was published in book form in 1906 under the title The Cynic’s Word Book. His other well-known writings include An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, A Little of Chickamauga, On a Mountain, Three and One are One, Two Military Executions, My Favourite Murder, and A Watcher by the Dead.
Bierce’s end is as intriguing as his books. In 1913, he went on a tour of old Civil War battlegrounds and after a letter to a friend written in December of the same year, vanished without a trace. His disappearance remains an unsolved mystery to this day.
Celebrated American satirist, critic, short story writer, and editor. Bierce's short stories are among the finest of the 19th century. He was the first to employ Western settings in Gothic fiction.