Surprise: Stephen King's Family Is Weird

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The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy profile on Stephen King and his family online today (it's come to print this weekend), and the main thing we learn from it is that they all, unsurprisingly, like reading and writing — spooky things in particular. King's wife Tabitha and their three kids, Joe, Naomi, and Owen sat down with Susan Dominus to share what it was like to grow up with the guy who wrote Carrie. A few tidbits:

  • King used to have his kids record books on tape for him to listen to in the car. His daughter Naomi once recorded the whole of Anna Karenina for him. And apparently he didn't ask her to do so as a punishment. 
  • Joe, Owen, and Owen's wife Kelly are also novelists. Joe used to write under the pen name Jay Stevenson, a play on "J., Stephen's son."
  • Owen's wife, Kelly, was a big Stephen King fan growing up — she tried to track down hardcover versions of all his obscure books. A sweeter, more sincere version of Nic Cage marrying Lisa Marie Presley. 
  • And King's wife, Tabby, has this to say on the possible burden of growing up with a famous father: “Everybody’s got parents, and they carry something from that. Sometimes it’s the children of a doctor dealing with: Is dad ever home or is he too demanding? Or else you’re the child of the town drunk or the town minister. You’re the child of somebody who has cast some sort of a shadow over your life, from whom you have to differentiate yourself.”

The whole thing's worth a read if you like King and/or strange family dynamics. Though King did cover some of his own personal troubles — including with drugs — in On Writing, this is a fresh take on the horror-master and his brood.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.