Gregory Maguire

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Gregory Maguire
Born (1954-06-09) June 9, 1954 (age 61)
Albany, New York
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Genre Fantasy, Children's literature
Spouse Andy Newman

Gregory Maguire (born June 9, 1954) is an American novelist. He is the author of the novels Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and many other novels for adults and children. Many of Maguire's adult novels are revisionist retellings of classic children's stories: for example, in Wicked he transformed the Wicked Witch of the West from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 1939 film adaption into the misunderstood protagonist Elphaba. Wicked was turned into one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all-time, of the same name. One of Maguire's short stories is featured in the 2004 compilation Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales.


Maguire was born in Albany, New York. He received his BA from the State University of New York at Albany and his PhD in English and American Literature from Tufts University.[1] His doctoral thesis was about children's fantasy from 1933 to 1989.[2] He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature from 1979 to 1985. In 1987, Maguire co-founded Children's Literature New England and he continues to serve as its co-director.[1] He is also a board member of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance[3] a national not-for-profit that actively advocates for literacy, literature, and libraries.

While visiting an art exhibit one day, Gregory Maguire says he stumbled across a painting of “a person of great compassion circling and enfolding someone who needed help.” He met the artist, Andy Newman, two weeks later, and eventually (in 2004) married him. Their wedding took place just after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts. Not long afterwards, they adopted three children: Luke and Alex from Cambodia and Helen from Guatemala.

One reason why Maguire in particular felt inclined to adopt, other than the fact that he could not biologically have children with his partner, was because of his challenging childhood.[4] Maguire’s mother died in childbirth, and his husband Andy’s mother died about ten years ago. This background of familial stress made Andy and Gregory want to provide a stable home environment for their children.[4] Maguire disagrees with the objection that a homosexual couple could potentially cause the same kind of negative stress on a family that living in a single-parent household does. He says that his family operates like any other.[4]

Maguire did a good deal of traveling during his life, from living in London to Dublin to Massachusetts. While he was living in London, he found inspiration to write his most well-known book, Wicked. Maguire says that the life of Adolf Hitler, and what he had heard and seen of young crime in the London area, inspired him to reflect on the nature of crime and of evil. This encouraged him to think about one of the iconic evil characters, the Wicked Witch of the West.[5]


For children[edit]

  • The Lightning Time (1978)
  • The Daughter of the Moon (1980)
  • Lights on the Lake (1981)
  • The Dream Stealer (1983)
  • I Feel like the Morning Star (1989)
  • Lucas Fishbone (1990)
  • Missing Sisters (1994)
  • "The Honorary Shepherds", in Am I Blue?: Coming Out From the Silence
  • Oasis (1996)
  • The Good Liar (1997)
  • "Beyond the Fringe", in A Glory of Unicornz
  • Crabby Cratchitt (2000)
  • Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales (2004)
  • Hamlet Chronicles
    • Seven Spiders Spinning
    • Six Haunted Hairdos (1999)
    • Five Alien Elves (1995)
    • Four Stupid Cupids (2000)
    • Three Rotten Eggs (2002)
    • A Couple of April Fools (2004)
    • One Final Firecracker (2005)
  • What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy (2007)
  • Missing Sisters (2009)
  • Egg and Spoon (2014)

For adults[edit]

Short stories[edit]

  • Scarecrow (2001), published in Half-Human edited by Bruce Coville (Note: This is the life story of the Scarecrow from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but is not a part of The Wicked Years.)
  • Fee, Fie, Foe et Cetera (2002), published in The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest
  • The Oakthing (2004), published in The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm
  • Chatterbox, published in I Believe in Water: Twelve Brushes With Religion
  • The Honorary Shepherds (1994), published in Am I Blue?:Coming Out From The Silence
  • Beyond the Fringe (1998) published in A Glory of Unicorns
  • The Seven Stage a Comeback (2000) published in A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales
  • Matchless: A Christmas Story (2009)
  • The Silk Road Runs Through Tupperneck, N.H. (2009), published in How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity
  • In That Country (2012), published in Parnassus Literary Arts Magazine


  • Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation (2009)


  1. ^ a b "Gregory Maguire – Harper Collins Publishers". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  2. ^ Witchel, Alex, "Mr. Wicked", New York Times Magazine, March 11, 2007. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  3. ^ "The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  4. ^ a b c "Incredible Fathers and Their Families". Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "About Gregory". Retrieved 4 October 2013. 

External links[edit]