This is book number 1 in the Wicked Years series.
The New York Times bestseller and basis for the Tony-winning hit musical, soon to be a major motion picture starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande
With millions of copies in print around the world, Gregory Maguire’s Wicked is established not only as a commentary on our time but as a novel to revisit for years to come. Wicked relishes the inspired inventions of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, while playing sleight of hand with our collective memories of the 1939 MGM film starring Margaret Hamilton (and Judy Garland). In this fast-paced, fantastically real, and supremely entertaining novel, Maguire has populated the largely unknown world of Oz with the power of his own imagination.
Years before Dorothy and her dog crash-land, another little girl makes her presence known in Oz. This girl, Elphaba, is born with emerald-green skin—no easy burden in a land as mean and poor as Oz, where superstition and magic are not strong enough to explain or overcome the natural disasters of flood and famine. Still, Elphaba is smart, and by the time she enters Shiz University, she becomes a member of a charmed circle of Oz’s most promising young citizens.
But Elphaba’s Oz is no utopia. The Wizard’s secret police are everywhere. Animals—those creatures with voices, souls, and minds—are threatened with exile. Young Elphaba, green and wild and misunderstood, is determined to protect the Animals—even if it means combating the mysterious Wizard, even if it means risking her single chance at romance. Ever wiser in guilt and sorrow, she can find herself grateful when the world declares her a witch. And she can even make herself glad for that young girl from Kansas.
Recognized as an iconoclastic tour de force on its initial publication, the novel has inspired the blockbuster musical of the same name—one of the longest-running plays in Broadway history. Popular, indeed. But while the novel’s distant cousins hail from the traditions of magical realism, mythopoeic fantasy, and sprawling nineteenth-century sagas of moral urgency, Maguire’s Wicked is as unique as its green-skinned witch.
Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked—the beloved classic that is the basis for the blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical of the same name and the major motion picture—Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. His series Another Day continues the story of Oz with The Brides of Maracoor, The Oracle of Maracoor, and The Witch of Maracoor, and his other novels include A Wild Winter Swan, Hiddensee, After Alice, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, and Mirror Mirror. He lives in New England and France.
"An outstanding work of imagination." — USA Today
“I knew that Gregory Maguire had come up with a genius idea the moment I heard about Wicked. It’s a book that has changed a lot of lives, including mine.” — Stephen Schwartz, composer and lyricist of Wicked: The Musical
"Maguire did something truly remarkable with this novel, in managing to inhabit, enlarge, deepen and find new dimensions in a world that had been invented by another writer, and in doing so make something entirely new. It’s an astonishing achievement." — Philip Pullman
“Listen up, Munchkins. Stop your singing, stop the dancing. The Wicked Witch is no longer dead. But not to worry. Gregory Maguire’s shrewdly imagined and beautifully written first novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, not only revives her but re-envisions and redeems her for our times.” — Newsday
“At the heart of this remarkable, unforgettable novel is a wildly original premise—one that only a writer with Gregory Maguire’s intellect and daring could have dreamed up: that the Wicked Witch of the West was a real woman, with an actual name, and her own story to tell. It was radical when Gregory first wrote it, and remains radical. It has the power to reshape one’s view of the world.” — Winnie Holzman, co-writer of Wicked: The Musical
"Gregory gets the complications and uniqueness of women very well." — Kristen Chenoweth
“Long before there was any thought of a musical, I read Wicked. I felt a quiet joy that sisterhood had made its way to the Yellow Brick Road. What happens when a witch, green or otherwise, gets to tell her own story instead of being vilified and misrepresented by dominant cultural authority? We witches know how that turns out!” — Holly Near