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My Librarian: Poe Poe Poe: the Ushers and the Author Himself

My Librarian: Poe Poe Poe: the Ushers and the Author Himself

A gray day, perfect for revisiting a twitchy acquaintance: Edgar Allan Poe. Roderick Usher and family inhabit their cracked, creepy house in one of his best short stories, “The Fall of the House of Usher." The Poe story has been used by other authors since he wrote it, even made into an opera. One offers a different perspective from Roderick Usher’s doomed sister, Madeline; the other features the descendants of Madeline and Roderick, from a master of modern horror, Robert McCammon.

Poe’s wandering life, tragic loves, and mysterious demise offer fodder for novelists across age groups. Mystery writers have used Poe as a touchstone for their work, speculating on the circumstances of Poe’s death at 40. Ironic, since Poe invented the modern detective story. Here is a selection of works based on Poe's life and work.