Grendel was published in 1971. Ostensibly a retelling of the Beowulf epic, Grendel is in fact a dark fable concerned with the philosophical underpinnings of society and individuality, as well as the place of art in a world of competing ideologies....
John Gardner was an American author and literary critic. He wrote several novels and short stories while teaching creative writing, English, and Anglo-Saxon at various colleges throughout the United States. His The Art of Fiction and On Becoming a Novelist] are considered classics in the field. He is most well-known for his novel Grendel, published in 1971.
Gardner was a regular participant in the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Two of Gardner's recurring themes arethe redemptive power of art, expressed in Grendel by the strong influence of the Shaper on Grendel's philosophical struggles, and the belief that fiction should be moral, as demonstrated in the totality of Grendel's search for meaning.
John Gardner died in a motorcycle accident in 1982.