Stephen King has a short story in this week's New Yorker, "A Death," set in the Dakota territory in the 1880s. There was a time when a writer who topped bestseller lists with terrifying stories of homicidal writers, sadistic fans and haunted pet cemeteries would not have fit inside a magazine that graces its covers with a monocled dandy.
But that time has passed -- it passed 21 years ago, in fact, when King's short fiction first landed in the New Yorker. Since then, he's published seven pieces of short fiction in the New Yorker, along with a couple of nonfiction essays.
Millions of people buy King's books, so getting into the New Yorker is not going to make or break his career. For some other writers, though, landing in the magazine is a sign of arrival -- and becoming a regular there is a sign of having arrived.
We did a quick spin through the archives to see how King's New Yorker publishing record stacks up against other writers. (The numbers are rough, as we tried to tally only pieces that appeared in the fiction pages of the issue).
George Saunders: The winner of last year's Story Prize published his first short story in the magazine in 1992; since then, the New Yorker has published 27 of his short stories.
Jhumpa Lahiri: The Pulitzer Prize winner published her first New Yorker story in 1998; she's published nine short stories in the magazine since then.
Charles D'Ambrosio: Since 2002, the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award has published seven stories in the New Yorker -- the same number as Stephen King.
Jennifer Egan: This Pulitzer Prize winner recently published a short story via Twitter with the New Yorker. In all, she's had six short stories published in the magazine since 1989.
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