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Ambrose Bierce - Biography

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)

Few writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have managed to remain as enigmatic as Ambrose Bierce. He fought on the Yankee side in the Civil War, and clearly this was a turning point in his life; after the war Bierce refused to accept some back pay the army owed him, apparently considering it blood money. He became a journalist, working primarily in San Francisco and Washington, DC, and was considered one of the most urbane and literate men of his time. He was also known for his bitterly cynical humor, reflected in The Devil's Dictionary. In the first decade of the twentieth century he divorced his wealthy wife and entirely cut himself off from his family; in 1913 he went to Mexico and subsequently disappeared. He is presumed to have died there in 1914, but no one really knows for sure, because he was never heard from again.

The most salient characteristic of Bierce's short stories is their irony. Life is never what it seems, Bierce warns, and Fate always has the last laugh.

Read Storybites' analysis of...

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The Boarded Window

Both Bierce stories can be found in the collection "In the Midst of Life."

It is available as a paperback from Amazon here:

There's a free Kindle download for "Owl Creek Bridge" here:

and also an audio version of "Owl Creek Bridge" available from Audible here:

Both Bierce stories can also be found in the collection "Classic American Literature: Ambrose Bierce"

It is available as a paperback from Barnes and Noble here: