Gregory Maguire


A storytelling wizard shares three favorite books.



The temptations to adapt or extend a classic work of fiction are many, but few writers have taken on that challenge with anything close to the success of novelist Gregory Maguire's spellbinding return to the world of L. Frank Baum's Oz. In Wicked, Son of a Witch, and, most recently A Lion Among Men, Maguire has brought a counterintuitive and timely perspective to the lands through which the Yellow Brick Road winds -- and generated  an international literary sensation, as well as a hit Broadway musical.  He shared with us three books that have enchanted him.


See all books by Gregory Maguire




A Visit to William Blake's Inn : Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers

By Nancy Willard, illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen


"In picture book format, this treasury of original poems features William Blake as a mystic, a wizard, a saint, and a muse, and offers to readers and writers a skeletal lesson in the primary components of fantasy rising with live yeast: mystery, beauty, character and significance. "




Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

By Peter Cameron


"A novel published on a YA list that might easily have been published for adults and deserve consideration at award time, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You chronicles the smallest possible nervous breakdown with the largest possible sympathy--to say nothing of prose so smooth you can breathe on it and see yourself."






Arlington Park

By Rachel Cusk


"This English comedy-of-manners isn't so much slice-of-life as slices, crammed chapter by chapter into the same dishy dish; the writing is droll and pungent, the characters comic and small, demeaning and therefore universal; and the novelist's quiet ambition--to take Virginia Woolf's clarity and expand it to reflect early 21st century Britain--is ably realized, so memorable."

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."