John Henry O'Hara was an American writer. He earned a reputation first for short stories and became a best-selling novelist by the age of thirty with Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8.. He was particularly known for an uncannily accurate ear for dialogue. O'Hara was a keen observer of social status and class differences, and wrote frequently about the socially ambitious.
A controversial figure, O'Hara had a reputation for personal irascibility and for cataloging social ephemera, both of which frequently overshadowed his gifts as a storyteller. Writer Fran Lebowitz called him "the real F. Scott Fitzgerald." John Updike, one of his consistent supporters, grouped him with Chekhov in a C-SPAN interview. By contrast, Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times dismissed him as a "minor writer" and a "well-known lout."