Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is derived from L. Frank Baum’s classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), the ever-popular tale of Dorothy, the Wizard, and the evil, green-skinned witch who plagues the land of Oz. But who is this woman, the Wicked Witch of the West? Was she born evil or did life force her to become that way? And was she genuinely “wicked” or merely “misrepresented by history.”
Wicked follows its main character, Elphaba, from her birth in Munchkinland to her exploits at college (where her roommate turns out to be Glinda, the future Good Witch of the South), and on through a tragic love affair and a story of betrayal. Maguire’s highly imaginative and sophisticated work expands upon and reshapes Baum’s mythology of the world of Oz, challenging our notions of good and evil.
After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great Wizard in order to return to Kansas, accompanied on her journey by the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion.
As part of its programming, Saratoga Reads hosted author Gregory Maguire for two community events in the spring of 2006. He met with young readers at the Saratoga Springs Public Library to answer questions about his work, and he did a reading, signing, and question-and-answer session for the general public at the Spa Little Theater in the Saratoga Spa State Park.