John Gardner was an American author. He is most known for his novels and essays. Gardner was born in New York to parents who were interested in the works of Shakespeare and literature recitation. Gardner and his family lived on a farm and Gardner was known to work on the farm when he was not in school. One day while he and his brother were working on the farm there was an accident in which his brother, Gilbert, was killed. Gardner blamed himself for his brother’s death and had recurring dreams and flashbacks from the accident. This event was so troubling to him that he used its theme in some of his later literary works. Gardner attended DePauw University, Washington University in St. Louis and received a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.
Gardner is most known for his fiction novels The Sunlight Dialogues, Grendel, and October Light. He also wrote a few short story collections The King’s Indian and The Art of Living and Other Stories. He is also well known for his essay On Writers and Writing. Gardner also expanded his work into the genre of children’s stories. Some of these stories include Dragon, Dragon (and Other Tales), Gudgekin The Thistle Girl (and Other Tales), The King of the Hummingbirds (and Other Tales), and A Child’s Bestiary.
Gardner taught the craft of fiction writing most of his life. He wrote two books to help others write fiction. The Art of Fiction Writing and On Becoming a Novelist were both books he wrote to instruction others on how to perfect their craft. Later in his life he taught at Southern Illinois University, Binghamton University, and became a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Detroit.