Thomas Tryon (1926–1991) was born in Hartford, Connecticut into a family whose New England roots stretch back to the seventeenth century. After serving in the navy during World War II , he attended Yale, and upon graduation began an acting career that would take him from a made-for-television Disney western to Hollywood, where he was featured in several B movies as well as Otto Preminger’s The Cardinal. Preminger’s treatment of Tryon was so cruel as to become a Hollywood legend, and Tryon turned to writing. His first book, The Other (1971), was an immediate success, spending more than six months on the New York Times best-seller list and allowing him to quit acting for good; a film adaptation, with a screenplay by Tryon and directed by Robert Mulligan, appeared in 1972. Tryon wrote two more novels set in the fictional Pequot Landing of The Other, Harvest Home (1973) and Lady (1974), before turning to works like All That Glitters (1986), that explore the dark side of the golden age of Hollywood. At the time of his death Tryon was working on a historical trilogy set in early nineteenth-century Connecticut.
The Other, alongside Rosemary’s Baby, is a signal work of midcentury horror. In Tryon’s first novel, everyday life—not monsters or ghouls—is revealed to be the source of the truly terrifying. “A lyrical, impressive horror story that is a cross between The Bad Seed and John Cheever’s The Wapshot Chronicles.”—LA Times