(1897-1976) US writer, whose extremely popular writings on sport were assembled in Farewell to Sport (coll 1938), and who spent most of his remaining career writing fiction, beginning with The Adventures of Hiram Holliday (coll 1939), a set of Tall Tales that come close to fantasy, as does his World War II fable, The Snow Goose (1941 chap). His first fantasy proper – and the first of several tales featuring Cats – is The Abandoned (1950; vt Jennie 1950 UK), in which a young boy suffers Transformation into a cat, is befriended by another cat (Jennie), has adventures in her tutelary company, is mortally wounded fighting over her, and is reborn in human form, wiser. Other stories with cats include Thomasina: The Cat who Thought She was God (1957), whose heroine feline thinks she has been reborn as an Egyptian goddess (> Reincarnation), The Silent Miau: A Manual for Kittens, Strays, and Homeless Cats (1964), fictionalized musings, and Manxmouse (1968 UK), in which a Toy mouse is animated (> Real Boy) and proves himself worthy of the companionship of a rough-hewn Manx cat.
Of some interest as Supernatural Fiction are the Alexander Hero books – Too Many Ghosts (1959) and The Hand of Mary Constable (1964) – featuring the experiences of an Occult Detective. The Man who was Magic: A Tale of Innocence (1966), in which an individual capable of genuine Magic threatens a town full of charlatans, fails through PG's decreasing ability to control his sentimentality. In The House that Wouldn't Go Away (1979 UK) a house which is itself a Ghost gives visions of the Victorians who once lived in it. [JC]
other works: The Small Miracle (coll 1951 UK); Snowflake (1952 chap UK): The Foolish Immortals (1953), sf; Ludmila: A Story of Leichtenstein (1954 chap Liechtenstein), which appears also in Three Stories (omni 1964 UK; vt Three Legends: The Snow Goose; The Small Miracle; Ludmila 1966 US) and in Ludmila and The Lonely (coll 1967 UK); The Poseidon Adventure (1969) and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1978); The Best of Paul Gallico (coll 1988 UK).
Paul William Gallico