2013 Summer Young Writers Institute Guest Author
GREGORY PETER MAGUIRE
Born 9 June 1954
Gregory Maguire is best known for his 1995 novel for adults, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. A New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller, and cited by Barnes & Noble in its “Discover Great New Writers” recommendations for the Fall of 1995, Wicked inspired the Broadway musical of the same name and three New York Times bestselling sequels in the Wicked Years cycle, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. The Tony Award-winning Wicked, well into its ninth year on Broadway and playing in nine productions internationally, has broken box office records in nearly every venue in which it has appeared.
All his other novels for adults—Lost and Mirror Mirror among them—have appeared on national bestseller lists. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was made into an ABC television film starring Stockard Channing and Jonathan Pryce. Maguire has recorded two of his novels available on tape and CD. His work is available internationally into more than twenty languages.
The success of Wicked on the stage and in bookstores—nearly five million copies sold—brought Maguire to the attention of major media outlets. He was the subject of a profile in the Sunday New York Times Magazine (“Mr. Wicked”), and with his family he appeared on “Oprah.” He has been a commentator on National Public Radio and the BBC’s Radio Four, on blogs for CNN.com and others, and he has contributed upon request to many journals, including Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, etc.
Born and raised in Albany, New York, and schooled in a parochial setting until college, Maguire published his first novel for children at the age of twenty-four. He has written seventeen novels for children and eight novels for adults, as well as picture books, short stories, essays, and signal reviews for major journals like the Sunday New York Times Book Review and Ploughshares. Furthermore, he has contributed essays to the progressive Catholic journal Commonweal and editorials to the Los Angeles Times and the Christian Science Monitor. He performed an original story for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and hosted an episode of NPR’s “Selected Shorts.”
Maguire began his career by teaching literature and creative writing to children and to adults. For eight years he helped direct the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, Boston. For a quarter century, he co-directed an educational charity he helped found, Children’s Literature New England, Inc., established to raise awareness of the significance of literature in the lives of children.