ALBANY-BORN AUTHOR OF “WICKED: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST,”TO DISCUSS NEW WORK ABOUT A ROGUE TOOTH FAIRY
MARCH 13, 2008
Sponsored by the University Art Museum with support from the UAlbany Alumni Association
Gregory Maguire, the much acclaimed Albany-born author, revisionist fairy tale writer, and UAlbany graduate, who is best-known for “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” (1995), will discuss his newest children’s novel on Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. [NOTE EARLY START TIME] in Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. The author will offer a book signing at the University Art Museum immediately following the reading. The events, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the University Art Museum.
Gregory Maguire, the much acclaimed Albany-born author, revisionist fairy tale writer, and UAlbany graduate, is best-known for “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” (1995). A “New York Times” bestseller, more than 3 million copies of “Wicked” have appeared in print.
Maguire’s newest book is “What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy” (2007), a children’s novel about an orphaned male fairy, hatched during a violent storm in a discarded tuna can, who embarks on a quest of self-discovery. The “Washington Post” praised the author’s “dancing, silken prose,” and “Kirkus Reviews” called it “a winner for Maguire’s fans of all ages.” The “New York Times” reviewer said that Maguire in the new novel, “does for the dark and stormy night what he did for witches in ‘Wicked’... he brings a literary commonplace to booming, three-dimensional life.”
Writing in the “New Yorker,” John Updike called “Wicked” (1995), “an amazing novel.” “Kirkus Reviews” said, “Save a place on the shelf between ‘Alice’ and ‘The Hobbit’—that spot is well deserved.” The “Los Angeles Times” called it “a staggering feat of wordcraft...,” and said, “Maguire’s larger triumph here is twofold: First, in Elphaba, he has created one of the great heroines in fantasy literature: a fiery, passionate, unforgettable and ultimately tragic figure. Second, ‘Wicked’ is the best fantasy novel of ideas I’ve read since Mervyn Peake’s ‘Gormenghast’ or Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune.’”
A book signing will be held at the University Art Museum following the reading.
Adapted as a Broadway musical in 2003, “Wicked” received 10 Tony nominations.
including Best Musical, and received Tony awards for Best Actress, Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design. It also received 6 Drama Desk Awards. The show holds weekly-gross-takings records in New York, London, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as the record for fastest opening in London’s West End (earning £100,000 in slightly over one hour).
Maguire’s other fairy tale “revisions” include “Son of a Witch” (2005), an Oz sequel; “Mirror, Mirror” (2003), based on Snow White; and “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister” (1999), a Cinderella tale. The “Boston Globe” reviewer said, “ ‘Son of a Witch’ is vintage Maguire, thoroughly entertaining even at its darkest. Oz is as complex and satisfying a fantastic world as ever, wonderfully described.”
Maguire is working on a third novel in the “Wicked” cycle in which the Cowardly Lion of Oz will play a prominent role.
Maguire received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. A scholar of children’s literature, Maguire served as professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature from 1979 to 1985. He currently serves as codirector of the not-for-profit arts foundation, Children’s Literature New England, Inc.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute
at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.