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Paul Zindel is an author and playwright of a variety of works, ranging from books for young adults (like "The Pigman") to one-act plays (like "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds") to full length plays (like "And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little"). While the works differ in genre, they have similarities of theme and style.
He seems to work a great deal from his own history, writing stories of characters who have suffered at the hands of inept or absent parents. His own father abandoned his mother and his mother was somewhat of an "eccentric" sort (to put it poetically). Characters in his books and plays often reflect people in his own life (family and friends); John and Lorraine in "The Pigman" were modeled on childhood friends of Zindel. While his work is often on dark and serious subjects, it has wickedly funny layers.
There are some fun facts in the first reference listed.
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