Edward Gorey (1925–2000) was born in Chicago. He studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, spent three years in the army as a clerk at a site that specialized in the testing of poison gas, and attended Harvard College, where he majored in French literature and roomed with the poet Frank O’Hara. In 1953 Gorey published The Unstrung Harp, the first of his many extraordinary books, which include The Curious Sofa, The Haunted Tea Cosy, and The Epiplectic Bicycle.
In addition to illustrating his own books, Gorey provided drawings to countless books for both children and adults. Of these, New York Review Books has published The Haunted Looking Glass, a collection of Gothic tales that he selected and illustrated; The War of the Worlds, the pioneering work of science fiction by H. G. Wells; Men and Gods, a retelling of ancient Greek myths by Rex Warner; Three Ladies Beside the Sea and He Was There From the Day We Moved In, in collaboration with Rhoda Levine; and The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories, a collection of tales by Saki.