Stephen Crane (1871-1900) was an American novelist, poet and journalist. He is best known for his novel Red Badge of Courage (1895). The novel introduced for most readers Crane's strikingly original prose, an intensely rendered mix of impressionism, naturalism and symbolism. He lived in New York City a bohemian life where he observed the poor in the Bowery slums as research for his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893), a milestone in uncompromising realism and in the early development of literary naturalism. He became shipwrecked in route to Cuba in early 1897, an experience which he later transformed into his short story masterpiece, The Open Boat (1898). Crane's poetry, which he called 'lines' rather than poems, was also strikingly new in its minimalist meter and rhyme. It employed symbolic imagery in order to communicate at times heavy-handed irony and paradox. Other works include Active Service (1899), The Monster (1899), The Blue Hotel (1899), Whilomville Stories (1900) and Wounds in the Rain (1900).
Stephen Crane (1871-1900) was born in New Jersey and was the last of fourteen children. While The Red Badge of Courage is considered Crane's masterpiece, he is also known for another brilliant yet grim work of fiction, Maggie, A Girl of the Streets (1893), as well as his poetry and journalism. Crane moved to Europe in 1897 and died in Germany at the age of twenty-nine from tuberculosis.