John Crowley

John Crowley

John Crowley (born December 1, 1942) is an American author of fantasy, science fiction and mainstream fiction. He studied at Indiana University and has a second career as a documentary film writer. He is best known as the author of "Little, Big" (1981), which received the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.


John Crowley was born in Presque Isle, Maine, in 1942; his father was then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college. He moved to New York City after college to make movies, and did find work in documentary films, an occupation he still pursues. He published his first novel ("The Deep") in 1975, and his 15th volume of fiction ("Endless Things") in 2007. Since 1993 he has taught creative writing at Yale University. In 1992 he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

His first published novels were science fiction: "The Deep" (1975) and "Beasts" (1976). "Engine Summer" (1979) was nominated for the 1980 American Book Award; it appears in David Pringle’s "100 Best Science Fiction Novels".

In 1981 came "Little, Big", which Ursula Le Guin described as a book that “all by itself calls for a redefinition of fantasy.”

In 1980 Crowley embarked on an ambitious four-volume novel, "Ægypt", comprising "The Solitudes" (originally published as "Ægypt"), "Love & Sleep", "Dæmonomania," and "Endless Things", published in May 2007. This series and "Little, Big" were cited when Crowley received the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature.

He is also the recipient of an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant. His recent novels are "The Translator", recipient of the Premio Flaianno (Italy), and "Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land", which contains an entire imaginary novel by the poet. A novella, "The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines", appeared in 2002. A museum-quality 25th anniversary edition of "Little, Big", featuring the art of Peter Milton and a critical introduction by Harold Bloom, is in preparation.

Crowley’s short fiction is collected in three volumes: "Novelty" (containing the World Fantasy Award-winning novella "Great Work of Time"), "Antiquities", and "Novelties & Souvenirs", an omnibus volume containing all his short fiction through its publication in 2004. A collection of essays and reviews entitled "In Other Words" was published in early 2007.

In 1989 Crowley and his wife Laurie Block founded Straight Ahead Pictures to produce media (film, video, radio and internet) on American history and culture. Crowley writes scripts for short films and documentaries, many historical documentaries for public television; his work has received numerous awards and has been shown at the New York Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and many others. His scripts include "The World of Tomorrow" (on the 1939 World's Fair), "No Place to Hide" (on the bomb shelter obsession), "The Hindenburg", and "FIT: Episodes in the History of the Body" (American fitness practices and beliefs over the decades; with Laurie Block). [Source: Yale University Web site]

Crowley's correspondence with literary critic Harold Bloom, and their mutual appreciation, led in 1993 to Crowley taking up a post at Yale University, where he teaches courses in Utopian fiction, fiction writing, and screenplay writing. Bloom claimed on that "Little, Big" ranks among the five best novels by a living writer, and included "Little, Big", "Ægypt" ("The Solitudes"), and "Love & Sleep" in his canon of literature (in the appendix to "The Western Canon", 1994).


* 1982: "Little, Big" received the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.
* 1990: "Great Work of Time" received the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella.
* 1992: American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Literature.
* 1997: "Gone" received the Locus Award for Best Short Story.
* 2003: "The Translator" received the Italian "Premio Flaiano".
* 2006: World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.



* "The Deep"', Doubleday (1975)
* "Beasts", Doubleday (1976)
* "Engine Summer", Doubleday (1979)
* "Little, Big", Bantam (1981)
* "Ægypt" (first novel in the Ægypt tetralogy), Bantam (1987); revised and republished 2007 under intended original title, "The Solitudes")
* "Love & Sleep" (second novel in the "Ægypt" tetralogy), Bantam (1994)
* "Dæmonomania" (third novel in the "Ægypt" tetralogy), Bantam (2000)
* "The Translator"', William Morrow (2002)
* "Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land"', William Morrow (2005)
* "Endless Things" (fourth and final novel in the "Ægypt" tetralogy), Small Beer Press (2007)
* "Four Freedoms" (forthcoming, 2009)

Short fiction

* "Antiquities" (1977)
* "Where Spirits Gat Them Home" (1978, later revised as "Her Bounty to the Dead")
* "The Single Excursion of Caspar Last" (1979, later incorporated into "Great Work of Time")
* "The Reason for the Visit" (1980)
* "The Green Child" (1981)
* "Novelty" (1983)
* "Snow" (1985)
* "The Nightingale Sings at Night" (1989)
* "Great Work of Time" (novella, originally published in "Novelty", 1989), Bantam (1991)
* "In Blue" (1989)
* "Missolonghi 1824" (1990)
* "Exogamy" (1993)
* "Gone" (1996)
* "Lost and Abandoned" (1997)
* "An Earthly Mother Sits and Sings" (2000, published as an original chapbook by DreamHaven, illustrated by Charles Vess)
* "The War Between the Objects and the Subjects" (2002)
* "The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines" (novella, 2002; published as a chapbook by Subterranean Press, 2005)
* "Little Yeses, Little Nos" (2005)
* "Conversation Hearts" (novella), Subterranean Press (2008)


* "Novelty" Bantam (1989). It collects "The Nightingale Sings At Night", "Great Work of Time", "In Blue" and the previously unpublished "Novelty").
* "Antiquities: Seven Stories", Incunabula (1993); includes all of his stories to that point which were not included in "Novelty")
* "Novelties and Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction", Perennial (2004); collects all of his short fiction up to that point, including "Great Work of Time", except "The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines")


* "Beasts/Engine Summer/Little Big", QPBC (1991)
* "Three Novels" (1994; later published as "Otherwise: Three Novels by John Crowley". It includes "The Deep", "Beasts", "Engine Summer").


* "The World of Tomorrow" (1984)
* "Fit: Episodes in the History of the Body" (1990, with Laurie Block)


* "In Other Words", Subterranean Press (2007)

Audio books

* "Ægypt", Blackstone Audiobooks (2007; unabridged reading of "The Solitudes" by the author.)

Critical work concerning

* "Snake's-Hands: The Fiction of John Crowley", edited by Alice K. Turner and Michael Andre-Driussi, Cosmos (Canton, OH), 2003.

External links

* [ Crowley's blog]
*isfdb name|id=John_Crowley|name=John Crowley
* [ The 25th Anniversary Edition of "Little, Big"]
*imdb name|0189749
* [ Straight Ahead Pictures, Inc]
* [,%20john&query-join=and John Crowley Collection] at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin

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