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John Gardner Biography: 'Literary Outlaw'

'John Gardner: Literary Outlaw' looks at the life and work of the controversial novelist.
'John Gardner: Literary Outlaw' looks at the life and work of the controversial novelist.

During the 1970s best-selling author John Gardner was at the center of American literature, and his sometimes controversial writings created debate on what fiction is and what it ought to be.

Gardner was the best selling author of a half-dozen novels including Nickel Mountain, Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues and October Light -- as well as a scholar of Medieval literature, and a teacher and critic of contemporary fiction. He died in 1982 in a motorcycle accident.

NPR's Tom Vitale reports on the first biography of Gardner.

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