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John Collier's Biographical Sketch

John Collier, a writer of various genres, was born in London on May 3, 1901. He obtained a private education, and began writing poetry at age nineteen, and was first published in 1920. During the early 1930s he concentrated on writing novels and short stories. One of Collier's most popular works from this period was His Monkey Wife, first published in 1930. In this short novel, Collier covers the controversial topic of conjugal love between a man and a chimpanzee. Collier became best known as a writer of fantasy, and though largely unpopular in his native country, gained significant popularity in the United States.

In 1935 Collier moved from England to Hollywood where he began writing screenplays. He would remain an active screenwriter for the next thirty years, as well as do substantial writing for television. Some of Collier's screenplays include Elephant Boy (1937), I Am a Camera (1955), and The War Lord (1965). Collier devoted much effort during the late 1960s to the transformation of Milton's Paradise Lost into a screenplay. However, despite being published in book form, his hopes of turning the screenplay into a film were never realized. Collier's other published works include Gemini (poetry collection, 1931), Tom's A-Cold (novel, 1933), Defy the Foul Fiend (novel, 1934), Presenting Moonshine (short story collection, 1941), Fancies and Goodnights (short story collection, 1951), Pictures in the Fire (short story collection, 1958), The John Collier Reader (short story collection, 1972), and The Best of John Collier (short story collection, 1975).

Collier died of a stroke in Pacific Palisades, California on April 6, 1980. For the most part, his work has been ignored by scholars, but still holds wide appeal among readers of fantasy.