Best of the Day: Lev Grossman and Gregory Maguire – June 10, 2015

Authors Lev Grossman (The Magicians) and Gregory Maguire (Wicked) talk fantasy at the Brattle.

Welcome to Best of the Day, our daily recommendation for what to check out around town. If you do one thing in Boston today, consider this.

Lev Grossman

The Magicians author Lev Grossman / Courtesy photo by Mathieu Bourgois

This week, J.K. Rowling lit up the Twitterverse with her latest hints about the upcoming 2016 Harry Potter spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, suggesting that we may soon learn the secret identity of Fantastic Beasts‘ American wizarding school. But anyone clamoring for a Stateside Hogwarts can already immerse themselves in the world of Brakebills Academy, the elite college of magic in upstate New York depicted in Lev Grossman’s fantasy series, The Magicians.

Though The Magicians in fact started partly as a tribute to Rowling’s work, it’s certainly made its own mark on the fantasy genre. As George R.R. Martin put it: “The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.” And plenty of fans agree. In the most recent testament to the trilogy’s success, SyFy announced its plans to adapt The Magicians into a 12-episode TV series.

Still, Grossman openly acknowledges a certain struggle to establish his own identity as a writer. Last year, when trilogy-ending book The Magician’s Land came out, he told the Globe that “it can be a little bit hard to find your own voice”—although in this case, he was talking about what it was like to grow up among a household full of writers in Lexington, Massachusetts.

And now Grossman is returning to his home turf to discuss his work with Gregory Maguire—another writer who knows a thing or two about subverting well-established fantasy templates, as evidenced by his smash success Wicked series.

Catch them both in conversation at tonight’s Harvard Book Store–sponsored talk at the Brattle.

$5, June 10, 6 p.m., Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. For more info, contact the Harvard Book Store at 617-661-1515 or