Biography

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 455

Gregory Maguire was born on June 9, 1954 in Albany, New York. He came from a family of writers, his father a journalist and speech writer and his mother a poet. Maguire and several of his siblings all grew up to be professional authors. He quite naturally developed a love for books at an early age, and in addition to being an avid reader, he kept a journal and wrote several stories, beginning when he was just a young child. Maguire attended Catholic schools and read about saints and angels, and soon found himself fascinated with stories of fantasy and magic.

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Though he has written some realist fiction, Gregory Maguire is best known for producing fantasy, science fiction, and creative renditions of fairy tales. Maguire says that his fascination with magic led him to look for magic in everyday life, and after discovering a pond that seemed to him like a magical world, he wrote his first fantasy adventure; a multi-volume series entitled "The Chronicles of Filiaan." Though "The Chronicles of Filiaan" was never published, the experience of writing it propelled him into the career he would eventually pursue. He graduated from high school and attended State University of New York where he majored in English, then enrolled in a children's literature program in Massachusetts. While studying in this program, he published his first novel, a children's story called Lightning Time. Lightning Time was well received by the critics and Maguire was well on his way to a literary career. He wrote more children's books, took a teaching position in the children's literature program at Simmons College, and enrolled in a doctorate program at Tufts University.

Maguire has a love for the creative arts, and today composes music and works in the visual arts in addition to writing books. He was the artist-in-residence at the Blue Mountain Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Hambridge Center and has enjoyed a prolific career as a writer of fantasies, science fiction, and historical novels. His two young adult novels: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister both received rave reviews and were made into ABC miniseries. Maguire is a founding member of Children's Literature of New England, a non-profit charity, and under the auspices of this charity he co-edited an anthology of lectures entitled "Origins of the Story: On Writing for Children." In addition to writing fiction, Maguire also writes book reviews for the New York Times, Horn Book, and other journals, and he speaks about children's literature at conferences and at schools. He has received honors and awards from prestigious literary organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of English and the American Library Association.

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