With the recent publication of The Eternal Footman, a novel about an existential pestilence, James Morrow offers up his final satiric meditation on the death of God.
The first book of the Godhead Trilogy, Towing Jehovah, winner of the World Fantasy Award and the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, recounts the efforts of a supertanker captain to entomb the Corpus Dei in an Arctic glacier. The sequel, Blameless in Abaddon, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, tells of a small-town Pennsylvania judge who prosecutes the Corpus Dei before the World Court for crimes against humanity.
Now that he has finished with his Creator, and vice-versa, Morrow is turning his attention to The Last Witchfinder, an historical novel about the coming of the Enlightenment and the birth of the scientific worldview. This epic-in-progress centers around a woman whose father hangs witches for a living in Restoration England, and it dramatizes the meeting that almost took place in 1725 between Sir Isaac Newton and the young Benjamin Franklin.
Morrow's other novels include This Is the Way the World Ends (1986), a Nebula finalist, and Only Begotten Daughter (1990), winner of the World Fantasy Award. Most of his short fiction is collected in Bible Stories for Adults, including the Nebula Award-winning fable, "The Deluge." His 1991 novella, "City of Truth," also received a Nebula Award.
Born in Philadelphia in 1947, Morrow spent his adolescent years making short 8mm fantasy films with his friends, including adaptations of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." His affection for satiric and philosophical fiction comes largely from the novels he studied in his high-school World Literature course.
After receiving a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969, then a master's degree from Harvard University in 1971, Morrow worked for several years as an English teacher, a cartoonist, and an independent filmmaker. Between 1977 and 1978, he produced the manuscript of his first novel, The Wine of Violence, and shortly afterwards became addicted to writing fiction.
Morrow now lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Kathryn, his fifteen-year-old son, Christopher, and two enigmatic dogs: Pooka, a Border collie, and Amtrak, a stray Doberman that Jim and Kathy rescued from a train station in Orlando, Florida. He devotes his leisure hours to his family, his Lionel toy electric trains, and his video collection of vulgar Biblical spectacles.
Photo by Kathryn Morrow.