Gregory Maguire: ma-gwire (rhymes with liar)
Gregory Maguire is the author of five novels for adults and more than a dozen
novels for children.
His adult novels, all published by HarperCollins, are Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995), praised by John Updike in the New Yorker as "an amazing novel," Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (1999); Lost (2001); Mirror Mirror (2003); and Son of a Witch, the sequel to Wicked, published in 2005.
Wicked has been developed as a big-budget Broadway musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, The Prince of Egypt, etc.).
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was filmed for ABC/Disney and aired originally in the Spring of 2002. It starred Stockard Channing and Jonathan Pryce.
Mr. Maguire's work for adults and for children has been published abroad in England, Ireland and Australia, and various works have been purchased for translation into French, German, Danish, Dutch, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.
His children's novels include The Hamlet Chronicles, a projected seven book series including, to date, Seven Spiders Spinning, Six Haunted Hairdos, Five Alien Elves, Four Stupid Cupids, and Three Rotten Eggs. A Couple of April Fools is next. Though he is best known as a fantasy writer, Mr. Maguire has also written picture books, science fiction, realistic and historic fiction.
For the Sunday New York Times Book Review Mr. Maguire has published signal reviews of significant fantasies by J. K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, and Maurice Sendak. He has also contributed articles and essays in journals such as the Boston Review, the Christian Science Monitor, The Horn Book Magazine, and others.
Mr. Maguire has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships. He was artist in residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and has received fellowship residencies at Blue Mountain Center, New York; the Hambidge Center, Georgia; The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Vermont. In addition to writing, Mr. Maguire is a national figure in children's literature education. He was a professor and associate director of the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College, 1979 through 1986. Since 1986 he has been codirector and founding board member of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a nonprofit that focuses attention on the significance of literature in the lives of children.
Mr. Maguire received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Tufts University (1990). He has lived abroad in Dublin and London, and now makes his home in Massachusetts.
This biography was last updated on 06/15/2011.
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An Interview with Gregory Maguire
Where do you get your ideas?
A writer tries not to steal ideas from other writers. However, it is the nature of ideasI thinkthat they rarely appear full-blown, like the visitation of an angel or a muse or a fairy godmother, but they grow in good soil, like a pumpkin or a hollyhock.
I try to keep the soil of my mind moist and rich by feeding it with other people's inventions (good books, movies, not so much with TV, except occasionally The Simpsons), and with a steady variety of different experiences. Trips to new places, meetings with friends old and new, times spent in memory. I use a journal to help me remember and record what I see and feel.
The works of other artists, the effect of a busy and curious life, the active exercise of my imagination and memory through a journalthese are the three main sources of ideas. But dreams, wide and gusty dreams, are a big help, too.
What prompted you to write Wicked?
I was living in London in the early 1990's during the start of the Gulf War. I was interested to see how my own blood temperature chilled at reading a headline in the usually cautious British newspaper, the Times of London: Sadaam Hussein: The New ...
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