Upgrade to a better browser, please.

Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

John Gardner

Added By: Administrator
Last Updated: Administrator

John Gardner

Search for this author through Search for this author on Search for this author on
Full Name: John Champlin Gardner
Born: July 21, 1933
Batavia, New York
Died: September 14, 1982
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Novelist, Essayist, Literary Critic, Professor
Nationality: American


John Gardner (1933-1982) was a bestselling and award-winning novelist and essayist, and one of the twentieth century's most controversial literary authors. Gardner produced more than thirty works of fiction and nonfiction, consisting of novels, children's stories, literary criticism, and a book of poetry. His books, which include the celebrated novels Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues, and October Light, are noted for their intellectual depth and penetrating insight into human nature.

Gardner was born in Batavia, New York. After graduating from high school, he earned his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and married his first wife, Joan Louise Patterson, in 1953. He earned his Master's and PhD in English from the University of Iowa in 1958, after which he entered into a career in academia that would last for the remainder of his life.

Following the births of his son, Joel, in 1959 and daughter, Lucy, in 1962, Gardner published his first novel, The Resurrection (1966), followed by The Wreckage of Agathon (1970). It wasn't until the release of Grendel (1971), however, that Gardner's work began attracting significant attention. Critical praise for Grendel was universal and the book won Gardner a devoted following. His reputation as a preeminent figure in modern American literature was cemented upon the release of his New York Times bestselling novel The Sunlight Dialogues (1972). Throughout the 1970s, Gardner completed about two books per year, including October Light (1976), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He also wrote three successful children's books, among them Dragon, Dragon and Other Tales (1975), which was named Outstanding Book for Children by the New York Times.

In 1980, Gardner married his second wife, a former student of his named Liz Rosenberg. The couple divorced in 1982, and that same year he became engaged to Susan Thornton, another former student. One week before they were to be married, Gardner died in a motorcycle crash in Pennsylvania. He was forty-nine years old.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works