Author bio

Author Image

Edward Gorey - book author

Born in Chicago, Gorey came from a colorful family; his parents, Helen Dunham Garvey and Edward Lee Gorey, divorced in 1936 when he was 11, then remarried in 1952 when he was 27. One of his step-mothers was Corinna Mura, a cabaret singer who had a brief role in the classic film Casablanca. His father was briefly a journalist. Gorey's maternal great-grandmother, Helen St. John Garvey, was a popular 19th century greeting card writer/artist, from whom he claimed to have inherited his talents. He attended a variety of local grade schools and then the Francis W. Parker School. He spent 1944–1946 in the Army at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, and then attended Harvard University from 1946 to 1950, where he studied French and roomed with future poet Frank O'Hara.

Although he would frequently state that his formal art training was "negligible", Gorey studied art for one semester at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 1943, eventually becoming a professional illustrator. From 1953 to 1960, he lived in New York City and worked for the Art Department of Doubleday Anchor, illustrating book covers and in some cases adding illustrations to the text. He has illustrated works as diverse as Dracula by Bram Stoker, The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. In later years he illustrated many children's books by John Bellairs, as well as books in several series begun by Bellairs and continued by other authors after his death.

Edward Gorey is the author of books: The Gashlycrumb Tinies (The Vinegar Works, #1), Amphigorey (Amphigorey, #1), Amphigorey Too (Amphigorey, #2), Amphigorey Also (Amphigorey, #3), The Doubtful Guest, The Epiplectic Bicycle, The Curious Sofa, Amphigorey Again (Amphigorey, #4), Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey, The Unstrung Harp

Author Signature

Author Books

#
Title
Description
01
The Gashlycrumb Tinies: or, After the Outing is an abecedarian book written by Edward Gorey that was first published in 1963. Gorey tells the tale of 26 children (each representing a letter of the alphabet) and their untimely deaths in rhyming dactylic couplets, accompanied by the author's distinctive black and white illustrations. It is one of Edward Gorey's best-known books, and is the most notorious amongst his roughly half-dozen mock alphabets.[2] It has been described as a "sarcastic rebellion against a view of childhood that is sunny, idyllic, and instructive". The morbid humor of the book comes in part from the mundane ways in which children die, such as falling down the stairs or choking on a peach. Far from illustrating the dramatic and fantastical childhood nightmares, these scenarios instead poke fun at the banal paranoias that come as a part of parenting.
02
The title of this deliciously creepy collection of Gorey's work stems from the word amphigory, meaning a nonsense verse or composition. As always, Gorey's painstakingly cross-hatched pen and ink drawings are perfectly suited to his oddball verse and prose. The first book of 15, "The Unstrung Harp," describes the writing process of novelist Mr. Clavius Frederick Earbrass: "He must be mad to go on enduring the unexquisite agony of writing when it all turns out drivel." In "The Listing Attic," you'll find a set of quirky limericks such as "A certain young man, it was noted, / Went about in the heat thickly coated; / He said, 'You may scoff, / But I shan't take it off; / Underneath I am horribly bloated.' "

Many of Gorey's tales involve untimely deaths and dreadful mishaps, but much like tragic Irish ballads with their perky rhythms and melodies, they come off as strangely lighthearted. "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," for example, begins like this: "A is for AMY who fell down the stairs, B is for BASIL assaulted by bears," and so on. An eccentric, funny book for either the uninitiated or diehard Gorey fans.

Contains: The Unstrung Harp, The Listing Attic, The Doubtful Guest, The Object Lesson, The Bug Book, The Fatal Lozenge, The Hapless Child, The Curious Sofa, The Willowdale Handcar, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Insect God, The West Wing, The Wuggly Ump, The Sinking Spell, and The Remembered Visit.
03
contains The Beastly Baby, The Nursery Frieze, The Pious Infant, The Evil Garden, The Inanimate Tragedy, The Gilded Bat, The Iron Tonic, The Osbick Bird, The Chinese Obelisks (bis), The Deranged Cousins, The Eleventh Episode, [The Untitled Book], The Lavender Leotard, The Disrespectful Summons, The Abandoned Sock, The Lost Lions, Story for Sara [by Alphonse Allais], The Salt Herring [by Charles Cros], Leaves from a Mislaid Album, and A Limerick
04
Contents: The Utter Zoo, The Blue Aspic, The Epiplectic Bicycle, The Sopping Thursday, The Grand Passion, Les Passementeries Horribles, The Eclectic Abecedarium, L'Heure bleue, The Broken Spoke, The Awdrey-Gore Legacy, The Glorious Nosebleed, The Loathsome Couple, The Green Beads, Les Urnes Utiles, The Stupid Joke, The Prune People, and The Tuning Fork
05
The doubtful guest shows up unannounced and unwelcome, yet its presence is accepted after only a brief interlude of screaming. The staid, pale, Victorian inhabitants of the mansion alternately stare and glare at the doubtful guest as it tears out whole chapters from books, peels the soles of its white canvas shoes, and broods while lying on the floor ("inconveniently close to the drawing-room door"). Strangely, or rather, typically, as this is a Gorey book, the stymied occupants never ask the guest to leave--and in 17 years it has still "shown no intention of going away."
06
While Embley and Yewbert are hitting one another with croquet mallets one day, an untenanted bicycle rolls into their garden. This book chronicles their adventures across turnip fields, through barns and into bushes.
07
The Curious Sofa is a classic 1961 book by Edward Gorey, published under the pen name Ogdred Weary (an anagram). The book is a “pornographic illustrated story about furniture” (according to the cover). According to reviews, there is nothing overtly sexual in the illustrations, although innuendos (and strategically deployed urns and tree branches) abound. The New York Times Book Review described it as “Gorey’s naughty, hilarious travesty of lust.” Gorey has stated that he intended to satirize Story of O.
08
This latest collection displays in glorious abundance the offbeat characters and droll humor of Edward Gorey. Figbash is acrobatic, topiaries are tragic, hippopotami are admonitory, and galoshes are remorseful in this celebra- tion of a unique talent that never fails to delight, amuse, and confound.  
Amphigorey Again contains previously uncollected work and two unpublished stories—"The Izzard Book," a quirky riff on the letter Z , and "La Malle Saignante," a bilingual homage to early French silent serial movies. Rough sketches and unfin- ished panels show an ironic and singular mind at work.

contains The Galoshes of Remorse, Signs of Spring, Seasonal Confusion, Random Walk, Category, The Other Statue, 10 Impossible Objects (abridged), The Universal Solvent (abridged), Scenes de Ballet, Verse Advice, The Deadly Blotter, Creativity, The Retrieved Locket, The Water Flowers, The Haunted Tea-Cosy, Christmas Wrap-Up, The Headless Bust, The Just Dessert, The Admonitory Hippopotamus, Neglected Murderesses, Tragedies Topiares, The Raging Tide, The Unknown Vegetable, Another Random Walk, Serious Life: A Cruise, Figbash Acrobate, La Malle Saignante, and The Izzard Book
09
Edward Gorey's extraordinary and disconcerting books are avidly sought and treasured throughout the world, but until now little has been known about the man himself. While he was notoriously protective of his privacy, Gorey did grant dozens of interviews over the course of his life. And as these conversations demonstrate, he proved to be unfailingly charming, gracious, and fascinating.
Here is Gorey in his own words, ruminating on everything from French symbolist poetry to soap operas, from George Balanchine and the unique beauty of ballet to Victorian photographs of dead children. We meet the artist in his ramshackle, book-lined studio in Manhattan and his equally bizarre house on Cape Cod. He describes his legendary upbringing and vast range of influences, as well as how he managed to work amid all his cats. Ascending Peculiarity is a rare and wonderful entree into the inner workings of an artistic genius.



Includes reproductions of previously unpublished drawings and photographs
10
On November 18th of alternate years Mr. Earbrass begins writing his new novel. Weeks ago he chose its title at random from a list of them he keeps in a little green note-book. It being tea-time of the 17th, he is alarmed not to have thought of a plot to which The Unstrung Harp might apply, but his mind will keep reverting to the last biscuit on the plate. So begins what the Times Literary Supplement called "a small masterpiece." TUH is a look at the literary life and its "attendant woes: isolation, writer's block, professional jealousy, and plain boredom." But, as with all of Edward Gorey's books, TUH is also about life in general, with its anguish, turnips, conjunctions, illness, defeat, string, parties, no parties, urns, desuetude, disaffection, claws, loss, trebizond, napkins, shame, stones, distance, fever, antipodes, mush, glaciers, incoherence, labels, miasma, amputation, tides, deceit, mourning, elsewards. You get the point. Finally, TUH is about Edward Gorey the writer, about Edward Gorey writing The Unstrung Harp. It's a cracked mirror of a book, and it's dedicated to RDP or Real Dear Person.