Gregory Maguire is the author of the best-selling Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the basis for the Tony Award-winning Broadway and international hit musical of the same name. He is also the author of the best-sellers Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost,Mirror Mirror, and the Wicked Years novels that, besides Wicked, includeA Lion Among Men, Son of a Witch, and the final novel in the series, Out of Oz (William Morrow). A popular keynote speaker, Maguire has lectured at universities, libraries, and arts and culture institutions in the U.S. and abroad.
In Out of Oz, the world of the Wicked Years comes full circle as the marvelous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest. The Emerald City is busy mounting an invasion of Munchkinland. Glinda is under house arrest. The Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And who shows up for a return visit but Dorothy. Yes, that Dorothy. Amidst all this chaos, Elphaba's granddaughter, the tiny green baby who's born at the end of Son of a Witch, comes of age. Out of Oz follows the journey of the little girl, Rain, as she takes up her broom in an Oz wracked by war.
Maguire's other books include The Next Queen of Heaven (William Morrow), a farcical and imaginative novel set on the eve of Y2K, and Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation (William Morrow), a visual tribute to the art of legendary Maurice Sendak. Maguire has also written several children's novels including The Hamlet Chronicles, a seven-book series that includes Seven Spiders Spinning, Six Haunted Hairdos, Five Alien Elves, Four Stupid Cupids, Three Rotten Eggs, A Couple of April Fools, and One Final Firecracker. Though he is best known as a fantasy writer, he has also written picture books, science fiction, and realistic and historic fiction.
Maguire has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships. His fellowship residencies include: Blue Mountain Center, New York; the Hambidge Center, Georgia; The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Vermont. In addition to writing, Maguire is a national figure in children's literature education. From 1979 to 1986, he was a professor and associate director of the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College. Since 1986 he has been co-director and founding board member of Children's Literature New England, Inc., a nonprofit that focuses attention on the significance of literature in the lives of children.
Maguire received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University. He divides his time with his family between Massachusetts and Vermont.
Praise for Gregory Maguire’s Lectures
"Gregory Maguire's combined talents of both writing and performance are unparalleled. He captivated our audience of 300, and the range of emotion during his reading ranged from laugh out loud humor during his reading from Leaping Beauty to breathless anticipation and wonder during his reading from Wicked. We could not have been more pleased with his appearance."
— Maria Lockheardt, Executive Director of Worcester Public Library Foundation
"Both entertaining and thought-provoking, Gregory Maguire's talk inspired my honor students and their guests to reflect on the place of narrative and literature in contemporary culture and in their own lives."
— Mary Dockray-Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Lesley University
"In the last two years I have been responsible for organizing the Writer's series at the library; Gregory Maguire's program was by far the best. His high energy, wit and deep thoughts about his work gained the awe and respect of the audience. It was also a treat to see an audience consisting of all ages enjoying themselves together."
— Andrea Herman, Head of Adult Services, Crandall Public Library
"On behalf of the Chester County Library Trust, we would highly recommend Gregory Maguire as a speaker. Gregory Maguire was absolutely fantastic. He was gracious and accommodating to our guests during and after our event. He truly held the audience's attention with humor and entertaining stories."
— Diane Gring, Public Relations, Chester County Library & District Center
"Gregory Maguire's appearance in the Hazelwood School District was nothing short of inspirational. In his remarks to students he shared his life story in a way that encouraged young people to write, to dream and to set high goals. His use of humor and his warm response to the students' questions made the presentation one they will never forget. Gregory Maguire has earned my highest praise: he is a wonderful teacher."
— Dr. Chris L. Wright, Superintendent, Hazelwood School District
"Gregory gave a performance rather than a mere talk. He was funny, charming and delightful. I was amazed at how warm and gracious he was in spite of a hard travel schedule. He was very kind and generous with his fans. We filled 500 seats and I heard some had to be turned away."
— Beth Petrucci, Adult Services Librarian, Pima County Public Libraries
"Many of our conference attendees felt this conference was the best in 21 years, and much of this was due to Gregory Maguire's highly creative presentation."
— Jack Chambers, Florida State College at Jacksonville
"Gregory Maguire was down to earth, extremely intelligent, wise, witty, and a gifted storyteller. Our guests and staff enjoyed his presentation and having the chance to meet him. He didn't just speak, he gave a performance. I appreciate your recommendation of him!"
— Megan Knox, Fund for Teachers
Praise for A Lion Among Men
“Much to savor, laugh at, and think about. . . . A page-turning fantasy and a timely political allegory.”
“So well-crafted that readers of all ages could enjoy witnessing Brrrr’s transformation from an insecure kitten in the woods to a compassionate, engaged ‘manimal.’”
—Christian Science Monitor
“The third book in Maguire’s Wicked Years is at once funny, charming, harrowing, bleak and incredibly beautiful.”
—The American Chronicle
“Maguire’s work is melodic, symphonic and beautiful; it is dejected and biting and brave. . . . In fabulous details and self-mocking language, Maguire displays his gift for whimsical portrayals of the broken, the powerless, the hopeless, the bad.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Engrossing... Maguire is a masterful storyteller with an uncanny flair for mixing political and personal while exploring what it means – and what it costs – to be accepted in a society.”
—New York Daily News
“The minute you open A Lion Among Men, you’re back in Maguire’s exquisitely detailed environment, caught up once again in his geography, his characters, his worldview, touched anew by the loneliness that lurks in the heart of all things.”
—New Orleans Times-Picayune
“This Oz goes far beyond L. Frank Baum’s; it’s as surreal as a dream, but as immaculately and impeccably detailed as history. Maguire’s wizardlike grasp over every aspect of this reinvented land rivals classic literary landscapes like Tolkien’s Middle Earth and Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County.”
—Albany Times Union
“Entertaining....The author mixes some relatively weighty existential themes—the search for self, faith, redemption—into his whimsical story line. [A] darkly enchanting saga”
“As usual, Maguire, a seasoned fabulist, populates his version of Oz with a cast of utterly fantastical characters who must face their own inner demons while tumult and uncertainty rages around them. An absolute must-read for fans of this ever-evolving dark fairy tale.”
Praise for Wicked
“I fell quickly and totally under the spell of this remarkable, wry, and fully realized story.”
—Wally Lamb, author of She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much is True
“An outstanding work of imagination.”
“A staggering feat of wordcraft ... would all books with this much innate commercial appeal were also this good.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Children – children of all ages, as Maguire reminds us in this splendid novel – need witches. Gregory Maguire has taken this figure of childhood fantasy and given her a sensual and powerful nature that will stir adult hearts with fear and longing all over again.”
—New Orleans Times-Picayune
“Gregory Maguire’s shrewdly imagined first novel... is part fantasy thriller, part psychological study, part political cautionary tale. It’s all fascinating. And it’s impossible to deny the magic of Gregory Maguire.”
—New York Newsday
Praise for Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
“[A] bewitching story... Confessions has its roots in a fanciful tale – the Cinderella story – but it teases out motifs deeper than the generic fall-in-love-and-marry-the-prince-happily-ever-after...”
—Fort Worth Morning Star-Telegram
“[An] arresting hybrid of mystery, fairy tale, and historical novel... Confessionsof anUgly Stepsister isn’t easy to classify or forget... The characters in theseConfessions might not end up happily ever after, but you won’t want to miss them.”
—Detroit Free Press
“A tale so movingly told that you will say at the end of the first reading, ‘It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book this good.’ For philosophical depth and lively evocative language, few writers match Gregory Maguire.”
“Captivating and beautifully written... Confessions is a rich canvas of colorful characters and fantastic events rendered by an artist attentive to every surface and texture.”
Praise for Son of a Witch
“Maguire’s captivating, fully imagined world of horror and wonder illuminates the links between good and evil, retribution and forgiveness.”
“As fantastical as a novel set in Oz should be.”
“Maguire is full of storytelling brio… his Oz is meticulously drawn.”
—New York Times
“A powerful cast of characters… Maguire has engaged in virtuoso fashion the very themes that turned what many considered a literary trifle into an American classic…”
—Los Angeles Times
“Maguire has done it again: Son of a Witch is as wicked as they come… Thoroughly entertaining.”
“An eloquent fable… A powerful work of fiction by an author working at the top of his game… Life in Oz seems absolutely real. This is fantasy for the non-fantasy reader.”
—Kansas City Star