Author: John Horne Burns

John Horne Burns (October 7, 1916 – August 11, 1953) was a United States writer, the author of three novels. The first, The Gallery (1947), is his best known work, which was very well received when published and has been reissued several times. He began work on a fourth novel, left unfinished at his death. He supported himself by writing a long piece about the city for Holiday, one of a series he was writing for that publication on the places where he had lived, and the effort that convinced his editors they could still hope for another successful novel from him.

In his time in Florence, he was known to drink to excess and complain of critics, rivals, and both friends and enemies. Vidal never saw him there: "In those years one tried not to think of Burns; it was too bitter. The best of us all had taken the worst way." After a sailing trip, he lapsed into a coma and died from a cerebral hemorrhage on August 11, 1953. His parents and six siblings survived him. He was buried in the family plot in Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Hemingway later sketched Burns' brief life as a writer: "There was a fellow who wrote a fine book and then a stinking book about a prep school and then just blew himself up."