Paul William Gallico was born in New York City in 1897, and died in 1976. His career spanned journalism, editorial positions, and gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy. In 1941 he gained popularity with his short novel about Dunkirk: “The Snow Goose”.
An enthusiastic fisherman, fencer and tobogganist, and an inveterate cat lover, Gallico became a full time freelance writer in 1946 after a short period as a war correspondent.
Gallico’s works cover a great range of human and animal experience and emotion. Some of his works, notably “The Poseidon Adventure” and “Love, let me not hunger”, explore the darker side of humanity – sordid, pointless death and selfish, cowardly actions. Yet the overwhelming message in Gallico’s books, including these two works, is of the triumph of human spirit and courage.
The combination of stark realism and idealism turn many of Gallico’s novels into a fascinating see-saw of emotions. The essentially uplifting theme in many books is balanced by the gritty, repulsive taint of human frailty and selfishness.
Other Gallico books are sheer delight. His “The Silent Miaow” looks into the mind of a cat with uncanny accuracy, as do his poems in the collection “Honourable Cat”. “The Small Miracle” lauds the innocent faith and love of a child, and his “Mrs Harris” series excels in light humour. Whether writing for adults or children, Gallico is a gripping author. His use of the English language is that of a master, his writing beautiful and deeply affecting.
Some of Paul Gallico’s works have been adapted for film, most famously “The Poseidon Adventure”.
Gallico’s works are listed alphabetically below:
Acknowledgements to http://www.paulgallico.info/gallicobiog.html, and to author information from “Scruffy” by Paul Gallico.