One of the most famous and controversial writers of his time, John Gardner published novels, stories, translations, children’s books, opera libretti, medieval scholarship, and essays on the writing and uses of fiction. The novels were both critical and commercial successes, the scholarship controversial, and the work on moral fiction wilfully provocative. He was lionized in the early 1970s, dismissed out of hand with the rise of poststructuralist theory in the late 1970s and 1980s, and resurrected with the turn to literature and ethics in our own century.

Born on 21 July 1933 in Batavia, Genesee County, New York, he was raised on his parents’ farm there. His mother, Priscilla [née Jones] Gardner, was a teacher who read to him from Shakespeare. His father was a lay preacher at their

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Citation: Daly, Robert. "John Gardner". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2006 [, accessed 20 April 2024.]

1682 John Gardner 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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