George Selden (author)
|Born||George Selden Thompson
May 14, 1929
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
|Died||December 5, 1989
Greenwich Village, New York City, United States
|Pen name||George Selden, Terry Andrews|
|Education||Bachelor of Arts|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Period||1961 - 1974|
|Notable works||The Cricket in Times Square|
|Notable awards||Newbery Honor Medal
Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
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 and a Newbery Honor.
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."
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 sado-masochism, 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.
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 (1981, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
- Chester Cricket's New Home (1983, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
- Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse (1986, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
- The Old Meadow (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
- "Lewis Carroll Shelf Award" at literatureplace.com (accessed April 27, 2011).
- "George Selden, 60, Writer of Tales Describing a Cricket's Adventures". New York Times. 6 December 1989. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- Biography from the Educational Paperback Association.
- White, Edmund (17 February 2001). "My private passion". Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- i Claude J. Summers, "Andrews, Terry (1929-1989)". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. Web site listing, 14 December 2002.
- Lord, M. G. (5 December 2004), "The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll: Her Doll, Herself", The New York Times, retrieved 2008-01-03
- Karla Kuskin, New York Times Children's Books review, 20 September 1981.
- Ellen Rudin, New York Times Children's Books review, 22 January 1984.
- "Children's Books: Bookshelf". New York Times, 15 February 1987.
- "Children's Books: Bookshelf". New York Times, 6 March 1988.