Collection: James Morrow

Having arrived on the planet in 1947, James Morrow spent his adolescence in Hillside Cemetery, not far from his birthplace in Philadelphia, pursuing his passion for 8mm genre moviemaking. Before going off to college, he and his friends used their favorite graveyard location for a half-dozen fantasy and horror films, including adaptations of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

After receiving a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MAT from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Morrow spent a decade working for public school systems in Massachusetts, then began channeling his storytelling urge toward the creation of satiric novels. His acerbic assessment of the nuclear arms race, This Is the Way the World Ends, was the BBC’s selection as best science-fiction novel of 1986. His next dark comedy, Only Begotten Daughter, chronicling the escapades of Jesus’s divine half-sister in contemporary Atlantic City, won the World Fantasy Award.

Throughout the 1990s Morrow devoted his energies to killing God, an endeavor he pursued through three interconnected novels: Towing Jehovah (World Fantasy Award), Blameless in Abaddon (New York Times Notable Book), and The Eternal Footman. Having grown sick of his Creator, and vice-versa, the author next attempted to dramatize the birth of the scientific worldview. Critic Janet Maslin called The Last Witchfinder “an inventive feat.” A thematic sequel, The Philosopher’s Apprentice, was praised by NPR as “an ingenious riff on Frankenstein.” Morrow’s most recent irreverent epic, Galápagos Regained (Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire), narrates the adventures of Charles’s Darwin’s fictional zookeeper.

The author’s stand-alone novellas includes City of Truth (Nebula Award), Shambling Towards Hiroshima (Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award), The Asylum of Dr. Caligari (Shirley Jackson Award finalist), and The Madonna and the Starship. Morrow’s work has been translated into thirteen languages. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with his wife Kathryn and three adopted dogs.

James Morrow