John Wyndham

John Wyndham is the pen name of John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris (1903–1969), the son of an English barrister. The boy’s parents separated when he was eight, and after attending various boarding schools, he lived off family money while trying his hand—unsuccessfully—at careers such as law, commercial illustration, and advertising. In 1924 he turned to writing, and within a number of years he was selling short stories, mostly science fiction, to pulp magazines in America, as John Beynon or John Beynon Harris. During World War II, he served behind the lines in the British army, and in 1951 he published The Day of the Triffids, his first novel as John Wyndham, to tremendous success. Wyndham’s six other novels include The Kraken Wakes and The Midwich Cuckoos, and The Chrysalids (published as an NYRB Classic).

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    “What John Wyndham does so brilliantly is invest quiet suburban streets with menace. The idea of an alien intelligence inhabiting a child is always frightening. But here Wyndham turns a story of ‘possession’ into a touching fable about our profligate use of the planet.” —The Telegraph

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    The Chrysalids

    Like everyone else in the nuclear-wasted world he lives in, David is loyal to his kind and on the watch for anyone who deviates from the ideological or genetic norm. But what would happen if it were revealed that David himself was a mutant? Wyndham’s novel is a thrilling science fiction classic for teens and adults alike.