Jack Cady (March 20, 1932 – January 14, 2004) was an American author of short stories and novels. Cady’s writing career began in 1965, when his short story “The Burning” won the Atlantic Monthly First Award and went on to appear in Best American Short Stories 1966. Cady had a lot of success early in his career with literary fiction. He won the American Literary Anthology Award for 1970 and his 14-story collection The Burning won the 1972 Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction, judged that year by Joyce Carol Oates. The collection was published in hardcover by the University of Iowa Press.
Fortunately for everyone who is a fan of genre fiction, he did not limit himself to the anti-genre confines of the literary world. His first novel, The Well, was unabashed horror fiction, published in 1981, and one of my favorite novels in the genre. I wrote a brief review of The Well on my blog back in 2012 when I discovered Cady’s work, which was akin to finding a new room full of amazing stuff in a place you’ve lived for 30 years.
Cady’s range is wide, his style deep and fearless. He had a great deal of life experience before his first published work — he served in the U.S. Coast Guard, worked as a warehouseman, high tree climber, auctioneer, truck driver — and that shows in his work. Cady eventually settled in Port Townsend, Washington and taught writing at the University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University.
He wrote 12 novels in all — two under the pseudonym Pat Franklin for Diamond (Berkley) in the early 1990s. His 1992 collection The Sons of Noah won the World Fantasy Award. His short story “The Night We Buried Road Dog” was published in the January 1993 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and went on to win the Nebula Award. In addition to The Burning, he had five more collections published during his lifetime. He also wrote a non-fiction treatise called The American Writer: Shaping a Nation’s Mind. He died of bladder cancer at the age of 71.
Many of his books have been re-released in recent years. To see everything currently available, click here.
These scans are from the library of Christopher Fulbright.