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JOHN CROWLEY

John Crowley was born in December, 1942, in Presque Isle, Maine, where his father, an Army Air Corps doctor, was stationed.  He spent the war years (of which he remembers nothing) in Greenwich Village, in a family of women: his mother, older sister, aunt and grandmother, and baby sister.  After the war his father resumed his medical practice in Brattleboro Vermont, where John made his first communion in a white suit, and in the summers went to the New Hampshire cabin of a friend, where they drank goat’s milk and killed deer-flies.  In 1952 his father took the family to Martin, Kentucky (pop. 700) to be medical director of a small Catholic hospital.  John and his sisters were home-schooled by the hospital nuns, John read Sherlock Holmes and Thomas Costain and Gods, Graves and Scholars, and decided to be an archeologist.

Two years later Doctor Crowley got a better job­ – head of the student infirmary at Notre Dame College.  The children went to various Catholic grade and high schools in South Bend.  John taught himself to write blank verse, composed the beginnings of tragedies, and planned for a career in the theater.  He went to Indiana University, where he dropped that idea, majored in English, and wrote poetry. As soon as his classes were done and his summer job in the Art Department ended, he went to New York City. There he planned to make films, wrote screenplays that were not produced, and began working on  documentary films, mostly historical, i.e. using film and photographs from the past. He also began writing novels, beginning with a science fiction tale (The Deep 1975)and sold it to a publisher for the sum of $1500.  He then sold the same publisher another (Beasts, 1977).  But he had also begun writing a much larger and odder work, which would not be finished for ten years. By then he had moved to western Massachusetts.  Little, Big was published in 1981. In the Berkshires he met a woman he hired, on their first date, to do research for him on a documentary.  After some years of friendship, courtship, collaboration, they married and had twin daughters; as of this writing they are thirty years old.  In 1992, through the intervention of Yale professors who had come to admire his work, he got a job teaching Creative Writing  as an adjunct and later a half-time instructor, from which eminence he will retire in the spring of 2018. Meanwhile he continued to write books and stories, all of which will be displayed and described on other pages of this site.

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