• Birth—June 9, 1954
• Where—Albany, New York, USA
• Education—B.A., State University of New York, Albany; M.A., Simmons College; Ph.D., Tufts
• Currently—lives near Boston, Massachusetts
Gregory Maguire is an American novelist. Most famously, he is the author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West; Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; After Alice; and more than 30 other novels for adults and children.
Maguire, born and raised in Albany, New York, is the middle child of seven. Schooled in Catholic institutions through high school, he received a B.A. in English and Art from the State University of New York at Albany, an M.A. in Children's Literature from Simmons College, and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University. His doctoral thesis was about English-language fantasy written for children between 1938 and 1988.
Maguire was 24 when, in 1978, he published his first novel for children. He has since published more than 20 books for young people and, alongside his creative work, has devoted much of his professional life to literacy and literature education.
In 1979, Maguire began teaching at Simmons College, where he became co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature. He remained at Simmons until 1986.
In 1987, he co-founded a nonprofit educational charity, Children's Literature New England, Inc., and served as co-director for twenty-five years.
Starting with that first book in 1978, The Lightning Time, Maguire has published over 20 books for young readers, including his well-known "The Hamlet Chronicles." That seven book series includes Seven Spiders Spinning (1994), Six Haunted Hairdos (1997), Five Alien Elves (1998), Four Stupid Cupids (2000), Three Rotten Eggs (2002), A Couple of April Fools (2004), and One Final Firecracker (2005). Though he is best known as a fantasy writer, Maguire has also written picture books, science fiction, realistic and historic fiction.
In 1995, Maguire turned to adult novels with the first book of his "Wicked Years" series: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995). That book transforms the Wicked Witch of the West from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 1939 film adaption into the misunderstood green-skinned Elphaba Thropp. The novel became the blockbuster Broadway musical Wicked and, at its height, had nine companies running simultaneously around the world.
Next in "The Wicked Years" line-up came Son of a Witch (2005), A Lion Among Men (2008), and Out of Oz (2011).
Maguire's other adult novels, most of which were also inspired by classic children's tales, include Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (1999), Lost (2001), Mirror, Mirror (2003), and After Alice (2015), which was published on the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Maguire is an occasional reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. He has contributed and performed original material for NPR's All Things Considered and has lectured widely around the world on literature and culture.
In addition to his writing, Maguire has been a board member of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance. He has also served on boards at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Board of Associates of the Boston Public Library, and the Concord Free Press, among others.
Maguire met the American painter Andy Newman in 1997, and in 1999 they adopted the first of their three children. Two others followed in 2001 and 2002. Maguire and Newman were married in June 2004, shortly after gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts. Maguire and his family were featured on Oprah, and he was the subject of a New York Times Magazine profile by Alex Witchel. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 10/29/2015.)
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