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Paul William Gallico was born in New York City, on 26th July, 1897. His father was an Italian, and his mother came from Austria; they emigrated to New York in 1895.
He went to school in the public schools of New York, and in 1916 went to Columbia University. He graduated in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science degree, having lost a year and a half due to World War I. He then worked for the National Board of Motion Picture Review, and after six months took a job as the motion picture critic for the New York Daily News. He was removed from this job as his "reviews were too Smart Alecky", and took refuge in the sports department.
During his stint there, he was sent to cover the training camp of Jack Dempsey, and decided to ask Dempsey if he could spar with him, to get an idea of what it was like to be hit by the world heavyweight champion. The results were spectacular; Gallico was knocked out within two minutes. But he had his story, and from there his sports-writing career never looked back.
He was a first-class fencer, and a keen deep-sea fisherman. He was married four times, and had several children.
He died in Antibes on 15th July, 1976, just short of his 79th birthday.
Radio 4 Open Book listeners recently crowned The Snow Goose 'The book most deserved to be re-read' - the novel by Paul Gallico. It will be dramatised on Radio 4 in 2010 Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award 2009. Breathtaking illustrations capture the haunting magic of this modern classic. Set in the Essex marshes in the years before the Second World War, it is a touching story of how a young girl rescues a beautiful but wounded snow-goose and takes it to be healed by a reclusive and frightening local figure who lives alone in a remote lighthouse. How the snow goose is restored to health, how Fritha discovers the gentle side of Rhayader and the special magic the goose brings on its annual return, is poetically told. A real gem.
Gallico’s story of a young boy who metamorphoses into a white cat following an accident is both an exciting adventure and a moving story of friendship. It is also one of the best books on cats ever written. As a boy, Peter is lonely. His parents are often out and he mostly spends time with his nanny. As a cat, he is befriended by a stray called Jennie, who teaches him the cat way of life. Together they have some extraordinary adventures until Peter is willing to fight to the death for his friend. As author Vivien French explains in her introduction, this is not just for people who like cats, but a gripping read for everyone, and often funny too, though the ending will leave many readers with tears in their eyes. ~ Andrea Reece
The brave little Manxmouse is on a special journey. But can he survive fearsome foxes, terrified elephants and cats big and small to reach his destination? The Manxmouse is one-of-a-kind. He's the strangest little mouse you'll ever see, with bright blue fur, huge rabbit ears and a distinct lack of tail. But Manxmouse doesn't mind being different. He knows that destiny awaits him, and so Manxmouse sets out on an exciting adventure. He meets tigers and hawks and dastardly pet-shop owners, but there's someone he dreads and desires to meet more than anyone else. The someone who has been waiting for him all along... the Manx Cat.
Collins Modern Classics are re-launched in gorgeous new covers bringing these familiar stories to a new generation. From the author of best-loved classic `The Snow Goose'. I was aware, from the very beginning, that I was a most unusual cat... Thomasina is the beloved pet cat of 7-year-old Mary Ruadh, whose strict father is the town's vet. When Thomasina falls ill, her father sees no other option but to put the cat down. Heartbroken by his cruelty, Mary stops speaking to her father and falls dangerously ill herself. Meanwhile, Thomasina is rescued by Lori, a young woman who lives alone in an isolated glen and is rumoured to be a witch with healing powers. While Lori helps Thomasina recover from her ordeal, Mary's health continues to deteriorate and it is only when Thomasina makes her miraculous return, on a dark and stormy night, and is reunited with her owner that Mary is pulled from the brink of death.
Philip Rhayader lives alone in an abandoned lighthouse on the desolate Great Marsh of Essex. One afternoon, a hauntingly beautiful child, Fritha, visits Rhayader, bringing with her an injured snow goose. At first Fritha is scared of Rhayader, with his sinister hump and crooked hand, but he is gentle and kind and Fritha begins to visit regularly. When the snow goose departs for home, Rhayader is left alone again. The following winter, the snow goose and Fritha return to the lighthouse. Time passes and one year Fritha is frightened to discover her feelings for Rhayader. But this is 1940 and Rhayader is setting sail for Dunkirk to help the soldiers trapped on the beaches. Fritha never sees Rhayader again. But the story of the saviour with the snow goose passes from soldier to soldier and into legend . . .
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