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Nicholas Christopher (born 1951) is an American novelist, poet and critic, the author of sixteen books: six novels, eight volumes of poetry, a critical study of film noir, and a novel for children.



Christopher graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in English Literature. After traveling extensively abroad, he returned to New York and began publishing his work. He taught at New York University and Yale before receiving an appointment as a professor on the permanent faculty of the Writing Program of the School of the Arts at Columbia University.[1] From the 1970s, his work has appeared in The New Yorker,[2] Esquire, The New Republic, The Paris Review, The Nation, and The New York Review of Books. Among his honors are fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and the Poetry Society of America.

Christopher is the author of six novels, eight books of poetry, a study of film noir and the American city, a novel for children, and has edited two poetry anthologies. Christopher's sixth novel, Tiger Rag, was published by the Dial Press in January 2013. His novel for children, The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in January 2014.

His novels have been translated into fourteen foreign languages. In the United States, his first novel was published by Viking Penguin and all his subsequent novels by the Dial Press. His poetry publishers have been Alfred A. Knopf, Viking Penguin, and Harcourt. His major characters have included a young concert pianist, a magician's daughter, a nurse on a hospital ship off Vietnam, an orphan raised in a hotel filled with miraculous characters in Las Vegas, an inventor during the Great Depression and a compiler of bestiaries. His eight collections include many verse forms from haiku to a novella in verse.


The Toronto Globe and Mail described Christopher as "North America's Garcia Marquez, Borges" and the Los Angeles Times noted that he was "One of our most inventive writers...To read [Christopher's] richly honed and sensuous work, which has so much tensile strength, is to visit other worlds and then return to our own, disturbed by time, but also refreshed and reawakened."[citation needed] The Washington Post, reviewing his Crossing the Equator: New & Selected Poems, reported that "Nicholas Christopher is a fabulist...His fiction often puts me in mind of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, two time-travelers who are his great precursors. His poetry tends to build on the work of Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop and James Merrill. Like them, he has a taste for the exotic, the faraway, the displaced, the imaginary."[citation needed]

Salon wrote: "if you were looking to write a crossover fantasy novel, one whose audience extended beyond sci-fi enthusiasts and aging Tolkienistas, you could hardly do better than to study A Trip to the Stars. With this zestful riff on an enduring genre, Nicholas Christopher should easily satisfy the admirers of his previous novel, "Veronica." He is also likely to gain new readers, including those who foray reluctantly into so-called imaginative literature."[3]


  • The Soloist (1986)
  • Veronica (1996) Dial Press ISBN 978-0-385-31471-8 [4]
  • A Trip to the Stars (2000)
  • Franklin Flyer (2002)
  • The Bestiary (2007) [5]
  • "Tiger Rag" (2013)
  • "On Tour with Rita" (1982)
  • "A Short History of the Island of Butterflies" (1986)
  • "Desperate Characters: A Novella in Verse & Other Poems" (1988)
  • "In the Year of the Comet" (1992)
  • "5˚ and Other Poems" (1995)
  • "The Creation of the Night Sky" (1998)
  • "Atomic Field" (2000)
  • "Crossing the Equator: New & Selected Poems, 1972-2004" (2004)
  • "Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir & the American City" (1997)
  • "The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen," a novel for children (2014)

As editorEdit


External linksEdit