Paul Zindel

Paul Zindel

Paul Zindel (b. May 15 1936 in New York City; d. March 27 2003) was an American author, playwright, and educator.

Early life

Throughout his teen years he wrote plays, though he trained as a chemist at Wagner College and spent six months working at Allied Chemical after graduating. He later quit and worked as a high school science teacher at Tottenville High School located on Staten Island.

Writing career

In 1964, he wrote "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds", his first and most successful play. The play ran off-Broadway in 1970, and on Broadway in 1971.

It won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was also made into a 1972 movie by 20th Century Fox. Charlotte Zolotow, then a vice-president at Harper & Row (now Harper-Collins) contacted him to writing for her book label. Zindel wrote 39 books, all of them aimed at children or young adults.

Many of these were set in his home town of Staten Island, New York. They tended to be semi-autobiographical, focusing on teenage misfits with abusive or neglectful parents. Zindel himself grew up in a single-parent household, his mother working as a nurse. They moved frequently, and his mother often engaged in "get-rich-quick" schemes that didn't pan out. [Zindel, Paul: [ Journey To Meet the Pigman] , The Alan Review, Fall 1994] His father abandoned them. [ibid]

Despite the often dark subject matter of his books, which deal with loneliness, loss, and the effects of abuse, they are also filled with humor. Many of his novels have wacky titles, such as "My Darling, My Hamburger", or "Confessions of A Teenage Baboon".

"The Pigman", first published in 1968, is widely taught in American schools, and also made it on to the list of most frequently banned books in America in the 1990s, because of what some deem offensive language [ [ Banned Books archives] . ]

On March 27 2003 he died of lung cancer, although he himself was not a smoker. He is survived by two children, Lizabeth Zindel a published novelist, playwright and actress and filmmaker David Zindel.

List of works


* "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds", 1965.
* "Let Me Hear You Whipser"
* "The Ladies Should Be In Bed"
* "And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little", 1967
* "The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild", 1972
* "Every 17 Minutes the Crowd Goes Crazy"
* "Ladies At The Alamo", 1977
* "Amulets Against the Dragon Forces", 1998


*"The Pigman", New York: Harper, 1968.
*"My Darling, My Hamburger", New York: Harper, 1969.
*"I Never Loved Your Mind", New York: Harper, 1970.
*"I Love My Mother", New York: Harper, 1975.
*"Pardon Me, You're Stepping on My Eyeball!", New York: Harper, 1976.
*"Confessions of a Teenage Baboon", New York: Harper, 1977.
*"The Undertaker's Gone Bananas", New York: Harper, 1978.
*"A Star for the Latecomer" (with Bonnie Zindel), New York: Harper, 1980.
*"The Pigman's Legacy", New York: Harper, 1980.
*"The Girl Who Wanted a Boy", New York: Harper, 1981.
*"To Take a Dare" (with Crescent Dragonwagon), New York: Harper, 1982.
*"Harry and Hortense at Hormone High", New York: Harper, 1985.
*"The Amazing and Death-Defying Diary of Eugene Dingman", New York: Harper, 1987.
*"A Begonia for Miss Applebaum", New York: Harper, 1989.
*"The Pigman and Me", New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
*"Attack of the Killer Fishsticks", New York: Bantam, 1993.
*"Fifth Grade Safari", New York: Bantam, 1992.
*"Fright Party", New York: Bantam, 1993.
*"David & Della", New York: HarperCollins, 1993.
*"One Hundred Percent Laugh Riot", New York: Bantam, 1994.
*"Loch", New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
*"The Doom Stone", New York: HarperCollins, 1995.
*"Raptor", New York: Hyperion, 1998.
*"Reef of Death", New York: HarperCollins, 1998.
*"Rats", New York: Hyperion, 1999.
*"The Gadget", New York: HarperCollins, 2001.
*"Night of the Bat", New York: Hyperion, 2001.
*"The Scream Museum", New York: Hyperion, 2001.
*"The Surfing Corpse", New York: Hyperion, 2001.
*"The E-Mail Murders", New York: Hyperion, 2001.
*"The Lethal Gorilla", New York: Hyperion, 2001.
*"The Square Root of Murder", 2002.
*"Death on the Amazon", 2002.
*"The Gourmet Zombie", 2002.
*"The Phantom of 86th Street", 2002.
*"The Houdini Whodunit", 2002.
*"Death by CD", 2003.
*"The Petrified Parrot", 2003.
*"Camp Megadeath", 2003.


Zindel wrote the screenplay for the 1974 film version of the musical "Mame", which starred Lucille Ball. He also wrote the screenplay for "Up the Sandbox" which starred Barbara Streisand. In 1985 Paul Zindel wrote the screenplay for "Runaway Train" which starred John Voight, Eric Roberts, and Rebecca De Mornay which was nominated for three Oscars. He also wrote television adaptations of "Babes in Toyland" which starred Keanu Reeves & Drew Barrymore; he also wrote the screenplay for "Alice in Wonderland" which had an all-star cast; and also wrote the script for "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court".


External links

* [ Authorized web page] , filled with details and photographs from his life.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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