Galligan, John

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Galligan, John

PERSONAL: Born in Spokane, WA; married; wife's name Jinko; children: Sam, Joe. Education: University of Wisconsin, Madison, B.S., M.A.

ADDRESSES: Home—Madison, WI. Office—Madison Area Technical College, 3550 Anderson St., Madison, WI 53704.

CAREER: Worked variously as a newspaper journalist, screenwriter, house painter, au pair, ESL teacher, cab driver, and in a salmon cannery. Teacher in Japan. Madison Area Technical College, Madison, WI, writing teacher.

AWARDS, HONORS: Epiphany Best Story award; Crime Fiction Book of the Year, Crimespree magazine, 2005, for The Blood Knot.


Red Sky, Red Dragonfly (novel), paperback edition, Bleak House Books (Madison, WI), 2001, hardcover edition, 2003.

The Nail Knot ("Fly Fishing Mystery" series), Bleak House Books (Madison, WI), 2003.

Oh Brother! Said the Mother of Tony Pepperoni (juvenile), Bleak House Books (Madison, WI), 2003.

The Blood Knot ("Fly Fishing Mystery" series), Bleak House Books (Madison, WI), 2005.

Author of short stories and screenplays.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Books in the "Fly Fishing Mystery" series.

SIDELIGHTS: John Galligan's first novel, Red Sky, Red Dragonfly, is a mystery inspired by the time he spent living and teaching in Japan. It is the story of the divide between the two Japans, one old and one contemporary. The protagonist, Tommy Morrison, like Galligan, is an English teacher who takes a position in the small town of Kitayama. Upon arriving, he learns that the previous teacher has disappeared. Characters include the school manager, Noriko Yamaguchi, who dislikes life in the small town and longs to be with her mother and brother in the city; and Miwa Sato, a teen who is in love but hides it from her traditional grandfather.

Galligan began his series featuring Ned "Dog" Oglivie with The Nail Knot. Dog is a former security consultant who spends his time traveling around the country trout fishing after experiencing a personal tragedy. While in the town of Black Earth, he discovers the body of fisherman Jake Jacobs, whose ponytail has been cut off and stuffed into his mouth. At the urging of local Melvina O'Malley, he stays in town and becomes involved in the investigation of the crime.

The Blood Knot finds Dog camping in Avalanche, Wisconsin, home to a number of Amish families and the Kussmauls, a clan that includes Eve, who was banned by the Amish and whose young son, Deuce, claims to have killed local artist Annie Adams. Eve, who treats Dog's beaver bite, asks him to help prove the boy's innocence, even though Dog saw him fire his .22 into the woman's body.

A Kirkus Reviews contributor described The Blood Knot as being "the tetchy xenophobia of Witness combined with the unbridled energy of Deliverance and a touch of The Compleat Angler: one helluva story."



Children's Bookwatch, February, 2003, review of Oh Brother! Said the Mother of Tony Pepperoni, p. 3.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2005, review of The Blood Knot, p. 884.

Library Journal, December, 2003, Rex E. Klett, review of The Nail Knot, p. 171; June 1, 2005, Ann Kim, review of The Blood Knot, p. 106.

Publishers Weekly, September 12, 2005, review of The Blood Knot, p. 46.

School Library Journal, August, 2003, review of Oh Brother! Said the Mother of Tony Pepperoni, p. 140.


Badger Herald Online (University of Wisconsin), (March 5, 2002), review of Red Sky, Red Dragonfly.

Dispatch (Eatonville, WA), (November 15, 2005), Terri Schlichenmeyer, review of The Blood Knot.

John Galligan Home Page, (January 3, 2006)., (May 28, 2004), Rob Thomas, review of The Nail Knot.