McCrory, Donald P(eter) 1943-

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McCRORY, Donald P(eter) 1943-

PERSONAL:

Born June 29, 1943, in Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland; son of Thomas and Eileen (Macallister) McCrory. Ethnicity: "White British male." Education: Kingston University, London, B.A. (German, Spanish, geography), 1967; Birkbeck College, B.A. (Spanish), 1969; King's College, London, M.A. (Spanish), 1970, B.A. (French), 1972; University of London, Ph.D. (Spanish), 1978; School of African and Oriental Studies, earned certificate in South Asian studies, 1994. Politics: Green Party. Religion: "New Age." Hobbies and other interests: Travel, sport, opera, yoga, ecology, New Age philosophy.

ADDRESSES:

Office—42 Lea Rd., Preston, Lancashire PR2 1TP, England. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER:

Secondary school teacher, early 1970s; North East Surrey College of Technology, Ewell, Surrey, England, lecturer in modern languages, 1974-84; American International University in London, London, England, head of Spanish and German departments, 1984-2001; retired; Royal Society of Geographers, fellow, 1997. Teacher of yoga. Member, Oxford University Institute of Educational Technology Network.

MEMBER:

British Wheel of Yoga, Royal Society of Geographers.

AWARDS, HONORS:

International and British prizes for poetry; winner of six prizes in competitions sponsored by the Royal Society of Geographers.

WRITINGS:

(Author of explanatory text) Miguel de Cervantes, The Captive's Tale, Aris & Philips (Warminster, England), 1994.

(Author of introduction and notes) Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, Picador (London, England), 1998.

No Ordinary Man: The Life and Times of Miguel de Cervantes, Peter Owens (London, England), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including Treffpunkt, Vida Hispánica, Journal of the Association of Italian Teachers, Journal of the Modern Languages Association, and Linguist.

POETRY

The Conscious Light, Outposts, 1978.

Another World, Outposts, 1980.

Wind on the Skin, Outposts, 1983.

The Sweet Taste of Goodness, Outposts, 1986.

A Piece of Glass, 1990.

New Beginnings (collected poetry), Bekal, Surbiton, 1993.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

Off the List; a novel about relationships; What If …, a novel for young adults that "is, in part, a reaction to 'Pottermania;'" Unconditional Love, a full-length drama.

SIDELIGHTS:

A linguist and poet, Donald P. McCrory has written No Ordinary Man: The Life and Times of Miguel de Cervantes, a biography of the sixteenth-century Spanish-born author of Don Quixote.

A diplomat, prisoner, soldier, and poet, Cervantes led an exciting and unlikely life before writing the bestselling Don Quixote and earning international fame. McCrory's biography draws on recently unearthed family materials concerning Cervantes, as well as on McCrory's own knowledge of Spanish history. McCrory's book, the first new biography of Cervantes to be published in twenty years, is "a thoroughgoing and credible biography that opts for carefully researched conclusions over hearsay," in the opinion of Nedra C. Evers in the Library Journal.

McCrory told CA: "I have been influenced by major European authors: Shakespeare, Cervantes, Goethe, Voltaire, Dickens, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence.

"Ever since childhood I have loved literature and foreign languages. Poetry was my favorite medium until I became a serious academic and wrote what many would call erudite articles for important modern language journals in the United Kingdom. This led to the writing of academic texts and to biographical studies and to the recent well-reviewed biography on Cervantes.

"I believe the Cervantes principle of combining entertainment and wisdom is the best recipe for creative works. After a lifetime of study and reading, I feel I have a great deal to contribute to modern thinking and real life issues and I can do this best through writing and the media.

McCrory further noted his "strong and abiding interest in ancient India. I have studied Sanskrit in both London and Poona, India; followed Vedic philosophical teachings ever since 1963; have visited Indian seven times; and have stayed in several ashrams. Hence my interest in yoga and in the Hindi language.

"I took early retirement to focus on writing and on being published and on reaching the widest possible market! On a more personal note, although I no longer teach modern languages I spend several vacations on both language courses in Germany, France, Spain, and Italy and by attending opera festivals abroad; I hope to add Portuguese to my language repertoire soon."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice, September, 1995, review of The Captive's Tale, p. 126; December, 2002, E. H. Friedman, review of No Ordinary Man: The Life and Times of Miguel de Cervantes, p. 637.

Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), March 9, 2002, review of No Ordinary Man, p. 12.

Library Journal, September 15, 2002, Nedra C. Evers, review of No Ordinary Man, p. 63.

Publishers Weekly, June 3, 2002, review of No Ordinary Man, p. 81.

Sunday Times (London, England), May 26, 2002, Humphrey Carpenter, review of No Ordinary Man, p. 41.

Times Literary Supplement, July 12, 2002, A. J. Close, review of No Ordinary Man, p. 3.