Herriges, Greg C. 1950-

views updated

HERRIGES, Greg C. 1950-


PERSONAL: Born April 16, 1950, in Evanston, IL; son of Raymond (a banker/entrepeneur) and Charlotte (a homemaker; maiden name, Poggioli) Herriges; married Cara Durschlag, June 22, 1970 (divorced); married Carmen Perez (a nurse), January 22, 1983; children: Jeremy Charles. Education: University of Il linois—Chicago, 1969-71; Northeastern Illinois University, B.A. (English/education; high honors), 1972, M.A. (literature), 1974. Politics: Democrat. Religion: "Cosmic Worrier."

ADDRESSES: Offıce—William Rainey Harper College, 1200 West Alginquin Rd., Palatine, IL 60067. Agent—Mary Yost, Mary Yost Associates, Inc., 59 East 54th St., New York, NY 10022. E-mail—[email protected] aol.com.


CAREER: Educator and author. Roberto Clemente High School, Chicago, IL, English teacher, 1974-88; Taft High School, Chicago, IL, English teacher, 1988-89; William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, IL, associate professor of English, 1989.


WRITINGS:


Someplace Safe, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1984.

Secondary Attachments, Morrow (New York, NY), 1986.

The Winter Dance Party Murders, Wordcraft, 1998.


Contributor to journals including Chicago Tribune Magazine, Social Issues Resources, Oui, Cavalier, World Wide Writers, and Literary Review.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Song of Innocence (novel).

SIDELIGHTS: Greg C. Herriges told CA: "I had a rather dark adolescence, was a bit of a hoodlum, and played in rock and roll bands, including Athanor, which had an underground single release called Graveyard in 1973. I was greatly influenced by J. D. Salinger, and went to meet him at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire, in June of 1978, when I'd decided to become a professional writer. He was very kind to me, and I wrote about our meeting for Oui magazine, and later appeared as a guest on the BBC's 1999 television documentary, J.D. Salinger Doesn't Want to Talk.

"I taught in an inner city high school for seventeen years, and naturally I wrote about gangs—they were part of my everyday life. My students lived, played, toiled, and at times died on the streets of the northwest side, near Humboldt Park (former Saul Bellow territory). Since 1989 I have been a college professor—no more gang students, just a tranquil campus with too many geese. Out of affection for the time and the genre, I wrote The Winter Dance Party Murders, an affectionate satire about the early days of rock and roll. It explores what might have happened if Buddy Holly had not died in that tragic airplane crash. My writing has become more literary over the past seven years, perhaps because of a change in my reading tastes and my professional and personal associations. I have organized and hosted readings by Kurt Vonnegut, James Carroll, Jay McInerney, T. C. Boyle, Mark Leyner, Harlan Ellison, Robert Pinsky, Thomas E. Kennedy, Deborah Joy Cory, Richard Price, and Duff Brenna. Many of those fine writers have guest-taught my classes and become good friends. As for my primary motivation for writing, it is, I suppose, an attempt to connect with and entertain people. It's a wonderful release, and satisfies the desire to communicate on a mass scale. I guess I just like readers in general."

About this article

Herriges, Greg C. 1950-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article