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Guy Gavriel Kay (No. Weyburn, Saskatchewan, November 7, 1954) is a Canadian author of fantasy literature. Many of his novels are set in fictional realms that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or the Iberian Peninsula during the time of El Cid. These works have been published and promoted as historical fantasy, although the author has expressed his preference that, whenever possible, they should not be pigeonholed in a specific genre.
Of Jewish ancestors and English speakers, Kay was born in Weyburn (Saskatchewan) and raised in Winnipeg (Manitoba). As a student at the University of Manitoba, he came into contact with Christopher Tolkien, the son of J. R. R. Tolkien, as his parents were friends with those of Baillie Klass, Tolkien’s secretary, and later his son’s wife. When he needed an assistant to edit the unpublished work of his father, he contacted Kay, who moved to the University of Oxford in 1974 to work with Tolkien in the edition of The Silmarillion. In this endeavor he learned much of what he knows from fiction writing and book publishing, and later admitted the influence of Tolkien in his work: “To be successful in fantasy, you must consider Tolkien -work with their strengths and far from their weaknesses. “
He returned to Canada in 1976 to finish his law studies at the University of Toronto, where his interest in fiction literature was awakened. Kay became a principal screenwriter and associate producer of a radio broadcast of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Scales of Justice.
In 1984, Kay’s first fantasy work, The Summer Tree, was published, the first volume of the Fionavar trilogy The Tapestry. Most of Kay’s later work has to do with Fionavar’s reign, if only by a tangential reference to “the first of all worlds.” [Citation required]
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