George Selden (author)

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George Selden
Born George Selden Thompson
(1929-05-14)May 14, 1929
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Died December 5, 1989(1989-12-05) (aged 60)
Greenwich Village, New York City, United States
Pen name George Selden, Terry Andrews
Occupation novelist
Language English
Nationality American
Education Bachelor of Arts
Alma mater Yale University
Period 1961 - 1974
Genre Children's literature,
Notable works The Cricket in Times Square
Notable awards Newbery Honor Medal
Lewis Carroll Shelf Award

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George Selden Thompson (May 14, 1929 – December 5, 1989) was an American author. Known professionally as George Selden, he also wrote under the pseudonym Terry Andrews. He is best known for his 1961 book The Cricket in Times Square, which received a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1963[1] and a Newbery Honor.[2]


Born in Hartford, Connecticut to Dr. Hartwell Greene Thompson, Sr., an obstetrician at Hartford Hospital, and Sigrid Marie (Johnson). He had an older brother, Hartwell Greene Thompson, Jr. Selden was educated at the Loomis School, and graduated from there in 1947. He attended Yale University, where he joined the Elizabethan Club and the literary magazine, and graduated with a B.A. in 1951. He also attended Columbia University for three summers. After Yale, he studied for a year in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship from 1951 and 1952.

Selden is best known as the author of several books about the character Chester Cricket and his friends, Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat. The first book, The Cricket in Times Square, was a Newbery Honor Book in 1961. Selden explained the inspiration for that book as follows:

One night I was coming home on the subway, and I did hear a cricket chirp in the Times Square subway station. The story formed in my mind within minutes. An author is very thankful for minutes like those, although they happen all too infrequently.[3]

In 1974, under the pseudonym of Terry Andrews, Selden wrote the adult novel The Story of Harold, the story of a bisexual children's book author's various affairs, friendships, and mentoring of a lonely child, using the fairy tale of Rumplestilskin as an allegory. The book is very descriptive of the 1970s, including the sexual revolution. Moderately graphic scenes of sadomasochism, orgies and other sexual acts, are narrated by Terry, the book's protagonist. It could be construed as somewhat autobiographical in the sense the author writes of a character who writes children's books. The relationship to the boy and also the author's own feelings regarding his own existence are the main keys in this novel.[4][5][6]

Selden remained unmarried;[6] a resident of Greenwich Village in New York City, he died there at age 60 from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage.[2]


Selden wrote several sequels and other books in a series, which totaled seven books in all:

  • The Cricket in Times Square (1960, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Tucker's Countryside (1969, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Harry Cat's Pet Puppy (1974, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride[7] (1981, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Chester Cricket's New Home[8] (1983, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse[9] (1986, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • The Old Meadow[10] (1987, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

His other fiction books include:

  • The Dog That Could Swim Underwater: Memoirs of a Springer Spaniel (1956, Viking Press)
  • The Garden Under the Sea (1957, Viking Press)
  • I See What I See! (1962, Ariel Books)
  • The Mice, The Monks, and the Christmas Tree (1963, Macmillan)
  • Sparrow Socks (1965, Harper & Row)
  • Oscar Lobster's Fair Exchange (1966, Harper & Row), originally published in a different form under the title The Garden Under the Sea
  • The Dunkard (1968, Harper & Row)
  • The Genie of Sutton Place (1972)
  • Irma and Jerry (1982, Avon Camelot)

His non-fiction books include:

  • Heinrich Schliemann: Discoverer of Buried Treasure (1964, Macmillan), Science Story Library series #3
  • Sir Arthur Evans: Discoverer of Knossos (1964, Macmillan), Science Story Library series #4


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