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University at Albany Acquires Papers of "Wicked" Author Gregory Maguire '76

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 20, 2012) -- The University at Albany Libraries today acquired the papers of alumnus and Albany-native Gregory Maguire '76, the best-selling author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which spawned the smash Broadway musical "Wicked."

Maguire's personal and professional papers, manuscripts, documents, diaries, and memorabilia, a collection spanning more than 50 years to date, will be stored in the University at Albany Libraries' M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives to serve as a resource for scholarly research on his literary career, and on the subjects of his many works. This collection joins the papers of Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy, Joseph Persico, and Marcia Brown.

In addition, Maguire donated the collected papers of his father, celebrated Times Unioncolumnist John Maguire, and a collection of poetry by his stepmother, Marie McAuliff Maguire.

"Gregory Maguire has made an indelible mark on American life and letters with his prodigious talent, imagination, and commitment to his craft," said UAlbany President George M. Philip. "It is with great honor that UAlbany undertakes the task of safeguarding his literary legacy for the use of students, scholars and our community-at-large."

I used the University library as an undergraduate, and I wrote my first published novel for children as an independent study,” Maguire commented. “One summer I shelved returned books as part of my work study, but I daresay I browsed as much as I shelved."
hand-written manuscript of
The opening chapters of Wicked, hand-written in 1992. Gregory Maguire's personal and professional papers, manuscripts, documents, diaries, and memorabilia will be stored in the University at Albany Libraries' M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

 

Maguire’s Literary Legacy 
Gregory Maguire was born in 1954 into an Irish-Catholic family in Albany, N.Y. His mother, Helen Gregory, died in childbirth, and he spent some time in foster care and orphanages before his father, the noted speechwriter and Times Union columnist John Maguire, married Marie McAuliff, a businesswoman and award-winning poet.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in English and Studio Art in 1976 from the University at Albany, he earned a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University.

"Wicked" Broadway’s #1 show for an unprecedented eight consecutive years, is the winner of 35 major awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards. Declared “A Cultural Phenomenon” by Variety and “The Best Musical of the Decade” by Entertainment Weekly, there are currently seven productions worldwide: New York, London, Japan, Holland, Seoul and two concurrent North American National Tours. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, "Wicked" has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production is directed by Joe Mantello with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. "Wicked" is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. 

Maguire wrote the classic adult novels Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and five other New York Times bestsellers. From 1979 to 1985, he was codirector of the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature. In addition, he is cofounder and former codirector of Children's Literature New England, Inc., a non-profit educational charity established in 1987.

Among Maguire's children's novels are New York Times bestseller What-The Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy, Leaping Beauty and Other Animal Fairy Tales, and The Hamlet Chronicles, a series that includes Seven Spiders Spinning, Six Haunted Hairdos, and five other titles. He has performed original work for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Selected Shorts,” and has been profiled in The Sunday New York Times Magazine and featured on “Oprah.”

Maguire has also written signal reviews for the New York Times Book Review, and is the author of Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation, a critical work on the great American artist.

The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including artist-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Maguire has been awarded fellowship residencies at Blue Mountain Center, New York; the Hambidge Center, Georgia; The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont as well as honorary doctoral degrees from both the University at Albany and the College of Saint Rose.

Maguire now makes his home in New England and in France with his husband, the painter Andy Newman, and their three children.

The M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
The goal of UAlbany's M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and encourage research use of the University Libraries' unique manuscript and archival materials, the official records of the University, rare books, and printed materials. The Grenander Archives serve the current and future research interests of faculty, students, and others affiliated with the University as well as other qualified researchers from the region and beyond. The Grenander Archives also houses the papers of William Kennedy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ironweed and other novels set in Albany; the Joseph E. Persico Papers, from the Nelson Rockefeller speechwriter and award-winning author of Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage and Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I and Its Violent Climax; and the Marcia J. Brown Papers, donated by the artist, children's book illustrator, and multiple Caldecott Medal recipient.

For more news, visit the University News Center.