Paul Zindel Additional Biography

Biography

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Paul Zindel was born on May 15, 1936, in Staten Island, New York, to Paul and Betty (née Frank) Zindel. His father, a police officer, abandoned his wife and two small children, Paul and a sister. Betty Zindel, a practical nurse, launched into numerous ventures, ranging from real estate to dog breeding, and sometimes took in terminally ill patients for board and care. The family moved almost annually.

This transient lifestyle and his mother’s unwillingness, if not inability, to form meaningful relationships acquainted young Zindel with various forms of loss. Pets allowed at one home might be forbidden by the next landlord. Dogs raised for sale would eventually be sold. Board-and-care patients would sometimes die. The frequent moves, too, kept the boy, more often than not, in the role of newcomer in a neighborhood. It grew simpler to enjoy the worlds of imagination and, when possible, the manageable environments of aquaria and terraria.

In school, Zindel occasionally acted in plays and skits, some of which he wrote himself. At fifteen, he contracted tuberculosis and spent about eighteen months in a sanatorium, the sole youth in an otherwise adult community. He learned some parlor games and studied piano during his stay; more important, he became an interested observer of adult behavior. Returned to health and to high school, Zindel wrote a play for a contest sponsored by the American Cancer Society; it centered on a young pianist who recovers from a serious illness to play at Carnegie Hall. The play won for Zindel a Parker pen.

Zindel majored in chemistry at Wagner College in New York City. While completing his bachelor of science degree, he took a creative writing course with Edward Albee and wrote a play, Dimensions of Peacocks, during his senior year. Zindel was graduated in 1958, and after working briefly as a technical writer for a Manhattan chemical firm, he decided that he wanted to teach.

Completing a master of science degree at Wagner in 1959, Zindel began teaching chemistry and physics at Tottenville High School on Staten Island. His Dimensions of Peacocks received a minor staging; more significant, he attended his first professional theater production, Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic (pr., pb. 1960), and left with his appetite for theater whetted.

For the next several years, Zindel continued to teach and to write....

(The entire section is 988 words.)

Biography

(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Paul Zindel (zihn-DEHL), a prizewinning young adult author and playwright, is known for his realistic, if sometimes bizarre, presentation of issues and situations appealing to contemporary adolescent readers. According to Zindel, these stories were based on his personal experiences as a teenager and a high school teacher. As a child, Zindel never really knew his father, but his hardworking mother juggled a variety of jobs in order to provide for Zindel and his older sister. Although the family moved frequently, Zindel found that each neighborhood offered a new background for his imaginative pursuits.

While still in high school, Zindel contracted tuberculosis and spent a year and a half in a sanatorium, the only teenager in a sterile world filled with adults. This experience, in addition to his exposure to the private nursing patients cared for by Zindel’s mother, shaped the development of fictional medical incidents that occur in some of his works. From this isolated and lonely time, Zindel developed the voice of an alienated narrator which even reluctant readers have found appealing.

While his major at Wagner College was chemistry (in which he was awarded a B.S. in 1958 and an M.S. in 1959), Zindel also took classes in creative writing; playwright Edward Albee was one of his instructors. After a brief period serving as a technical writer for a chemical company, Zindel spent ten years working as a high school chemistry teacher, writing fiction in his spare time. Wagner College later awarded him an honorary doctorate for his achievements in...

(The entire section is 642 words.)

Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Paul Zindel was born on May 15, 1936, in Staten Island, New York. When Zindel was very young, his father abandoned the family, reducing Paul,...

(The entire section is 406 words.)

Biography

(Novels for Students)

Paul Zindel Published by Gale Cengage

Paul Zindel was born on May 15, 1936, in Staten Island, New York, and grew up on Staten Island with his mother and sister. His father, a...

(The entire section is 569 words.)

Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Crescent Dragonwagon: Yes, her name is real. First married to Crispin Dragonwagon in 1970, the author retained this pen name following their...

(The entire section is 580 words.)

Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Paul Zindel was born on Staten Island, New York, on May 15, 1936. His father abandoned his family when the author was still very young, and...

(The entire section is 269 words.)

Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Paul Zindel was born on Staten Island, New York, on May 15,1936. His father abandoned his family when he was still very young, and this...

(The entire section is 268 words.)

Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Paul Zindel was born on Staten Island, New York, on May 15, 1936. His father abandoned the family, dogged by poverty and frequent moves in...

(The entire section is 392 words.)

Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Paul Zindel was born on May 15, 1936, in Staten Island, New York. When Zindel was very young, his father abandoned him, his mother, and his...

(The entire section is 355 words.)

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Paul Zindel Published by Gale Cengage

Paul Zindel was born in Staten Island, New York, on May 15,1936. He is the son of Paul, a New York policeman, and Betty Zindel. He also has...

(The entire section is 527 words.)