Lev Grossman (born June 26, 1969 in Concord, Massachusetts) is an American novelist and journalist, most notable as the author of The Magicians Trilogy: The Magicians (2009), The Magician King (2011), and The Magician's Land (2014). He was formerly the book critic and lead technology writer at Time magazine (2002–16).
Grossman at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
|Residence||Brooklyn, New York|
|Education||Lexington High School|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Occupation||Novelist, critic, journalist|
|Parent(s)||Judith Grossman (mother) |
Allen Grossman (father)
|Relatives||Austin Grossman (brother)|
Bathsheba Grossman (sister)
Grossman was born to a Jewish family on June 26, 1969 in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the twin brother of video game designer and novelist Austin Grossman, brother of sculptor Bathsheba Grossman, and son of the poet Allen Grossman and the novelist Judith Grossman. He is an alumnus of Lexington High School and Harvard College. He graduated from Harvard in 1991 with a degree in literature. Grossman then attended a Ph.D. program in comparative literature for three years at Yale University, but dropped out before completing his dissertation.
Grossman has written for The New York Times, Wired, Salon.com, Lingua Franca, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York, The Wall Street Journal, and The Village Voice. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle and as the chair of the Fiction Awards Panel.
In writing for Time, he has also covered the consumer electronics industry, reporting on video games, blogs, viral videos and Web comics like Penny Arcade and Achewood. In 2006, he traveled to Japan to cover the unveiling of the Wii console. He has interviewed Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, Joan Didion, Jonathan Franzen, J.K. Rowling, and Johnny Cash. He wrote one of the earliest pieces on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. A piece written by Grossman on the game Halo 3 was criticized for casting gamers in an "unfavorable light." Grossman was also the author of the Time Person of the Year 2010 feature article on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Grossman did some freelancing and wrote for other magazines. Some of the works he wrote at this time include "The Death of a Civil Servant," "Good Novels Don't Have to be Hard," "Catalog This," "The Gay Nabokov," "When Words Fail," and "Get Smart." He freelanced at The Believer, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Salon, Lingua Franca, and Time Digital. It was soon after this that his novel, Warp, was published.
Lev Grossman's first novel, Warp, was published in 1997 after he moved to New York City. Warp was about "the lyrical misadventures of an aimless 20-something in Boston who has trouble distinguishing between reality and Star Trek." It received largely negative customer reviews on Amazon.com, and in response, Grossman submitted fake reviews to Amazon using false names. He then recounted these actions in an essay titled "Terrors of the Amazon". His second novel, Codex, was published in 2004 and became an international bestseller. After Codex, Grossman published the book that he is most well known for, The Magicians.
In an article for The New York Times Grossman wrote: "I wrote fiction for 17 years before I found out I was a fantasy novelist. Up till then I always thought I was going to write literary fiction, like Jonathan Franzen or Zadie Smith or Jhumpa Lahiri. But I thought wrong. ... Fantasy is sometimes dismissed as childish, or escapist, but I take what I am doing very, very seriously.
Grossman's New York Times bestseller The Magicians was published in hardcover in August 2009. The trade paperback edition was made available on May 25, 2010. The Washington Post called it "Exuberant and inventive...Fresh and compelling...a great fairy tale." The book is a dark contemporary fantasy about Quentin Coldwater, an unusually gifted young man who obsesses over Fillory, the magical land of his favorite childhood books. Unexpectedly admitted to Brakebills, a secret, exclusive college of magic in upstate New York (an amalgam of Bannerman's Castle and Olana), Quentin receives an education in the craft of modern sorcery. After graduation, he and his friends discover that Fillory is real.
Michael Agger of The New York Times said the book "could crudely be labeled a Harry Potter for adults," injecting mature themes into fantasy literature. The Magicians won the 2010 Alex Award, given to ten adult books that are appealing to young adults, and the 2011 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
In August 2011, The Magician King, the sequel to The Magicians, was published, which returns readers to the magical land of Fillory, where Quentin and his friends are now kings and queens. The Chicago Tribune said The Magician King was "The Catcher in the Rye for devotees of alternative universes" and that "Grossman has created a rare, strange and scintillating novel." It was an Editor's Choice pick of The New York Times, who called it "[A] serious, heartfelt novel [that] turns the machinery of fantasy inside out." The Boston Globe said "The Magician King is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy."
A television adaptation of the Magicians trilogy premiered on December 16, 2015, although Grossman said in 2011 that he did not believe the source material would be conducive to a film adaptation.
In September 2016, Grossman announced that he was working on a King Arthur novel called The Bright Sword.
In July 2019, Grossman, with co-writer Lilah Sturges and illustrator Pius Bak, released The Magicians: Alice's Story, a graphic novel told from the perspective of Alice, a secondary character from the book series.
Grossman lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with his second wife, Sophie Gee, whom he married in early 2010, and his daughter Lily from a previous marriage. On June 10, 2010, his daughter Halcyon Harriet Graham was born. In September 2012, his third child, Benedict, was born. Though Grossman's background is Jewish, and he includes religion in his work, he is a self professed atheist.
- Warp, New York: St. Martin's Griffin/Macmillan, 1997. ISBN 978-0-312-17059-2
- Codex, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004. ISBN 978-0-15-101066-0
- The Magicians, New York: Viking/Penguin, 2009. ISBN 978-0-670-02055-3 (hardcover); Plume/Penguin, 2010. ISBN 978-0-452-29629-9 (trade paperback)
- The Magician King, New York: Viking/Penguin, 2011. ISBN 978-0-670-02231-1
- The Magician's Land, New York: Viking/Penguin/PRH, 2014. ISBN 978-0-670-01567-2
- The Magicians: Alice's Story (with Lilah Sturges), Archala, 2019. ISBN 978-1-684-15021-2
- "Time | Lev Grossman". Lev Grossman. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
- Jewish Journal: "Jews Get Geek on at Comic-Con" by Adam Wills July 22, 2009
- "Lev Grossman" in Marquis' Who's Who on the Web [database online] Marquis Who's Who. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
- "About Lev - Lev Grossman". Lev Grossman.
- "National Book Critics Circle".
- "A Game For All Ages". TIME.com. 8 May 2006.
- "Stephenie Meyer: A New J.K. Rowling?". TIME.com. 24 April 2008.
- "Time Magazine Takes Shots at Gamers with Halo 3 Article".
- "Person Of The Year 2010". Time. December 15, 2010.
- "Transparency". Lev Grossman. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
- Lev Grossman. "Terrors of the Amazon", Salon.com, March 2, 1999
- Finding My Voice in Fantasy by Lev Grossman, The New York Times, August 16, 2014
- Keith Donohoe (August 1, 2009). "Post-Harry Potter, The Spell Is Cast". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Carlo Rovelli. "Used, New, and Out of Print Books - We Buy and Sell - Powell's Books".
- Agger, Michael (September 13, 2009). "Abracadabra Angst". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- 2011 Hugo Awards, 2012, archived from the original on 2012-05-04, retrieved 2012-09-15
- Keller, Julia (August 12, 2011). "At Summer's End, Adventure". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Kois, Dan (August 26, 2011). "Further Adventures of a Magician from Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Domestico, Anthony (August 9, 2011). "A teen-turned-king finds his way in dark fantasy world". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- "Stepping Away from the Vehicle". Lev Grossman.
- Emily VanDerWerff (10 August 2011). "Review: The Magician King". The A.V. Club.
- "Lev Grossman - The Magicians Land cover art and synopsis". Upcoming4.me. 26 November 2013. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Kain, Erik (November 3, 2011). "Lev Grossman on 'The Magician King' and the Science of Magic". Forbes.
- "Lev Grossman will reimagine King Arthur's legacy in The Bright Sword". The Verge. 2016-09-28. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
- "Local Author Lev Grossman On Escaping Brooklyn Without Leaving It". Bklyner. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
- "Benedictus: Thoughts on Being a Writer and Having Children". Lev Grossman.
- Grossman, Lev (June 28, 2010). "The Flight of the Halcyon: Or, I Had a Baby". Lev Grossman.
- "The Dying and Reviving God" Lev Grossman Blog http://levgrossman.com/tag/the-dying-and-reviving-god/
- Official website
- Magicians series
- The Neitherlands Forum, web forum dedicated to the series
- Lev Grossman at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Lev Grossman at Library of Congress Authorities, with 5 catalog records
- Lechler, Kate (October 21, 2014). "Interview at Fantasy Literature". FantasyLiterature.com.