Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Kevin McIlvoy  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: Granite City, Illinois

-- Kevin McIlvoy on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Went to University of Illinois

Biographical and Professional Information

Kevin McIlvoy is a visiting Instructional Professor at Arizona State University.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

A Waltz
ISBN: 0899240321

Lynx House Books. 1981

Book by McIlvoy, Kevin

The fifth station: A novel (Collier fiction)
ISBN: 0020346220

Collier Books. 1989

ISBN: 0380732718

Harper Perennial. 1999

Kevin McIlvoy's Hyssop is a remarkable novel filled with kindness, truth, and magic--a story that celebrates friendship and love while exploring the complexities of a simple faith that enriches materially impoverished lives. It is a gorgeous patchwork of memory lovingly sewn together by Red Greetaltruistic petty thief and guileless grifter-who has spent many days of his eighty-seven years behind bars in Las Almas, New Mexico. Twice married-the second time, while in jail, to his lifelong love Recita Holguin-Red has sampled pleasures available only to those capable of embracing life and its temptations without shame or fear. But his sins have been as memorable as his adventures-transgressions he shares freely with Bishop Francisco Velasco, Red's lifelong best friend and confessor, and his one-time rival for the affections of his first wife, Cecilia. In telling how he has loved and been loved, in confessing how he has sinned and inspired others to sin, Red Greet seeks hyssop, the substance that might wash his soul clean.

Little Peg
ISBN: 0380814765

Perennial. 2000

The dramatic story of Peg O'Crerieh, a woman desperately trying to rebuild her life, reveals the various roles she assumes--wife, mother, teacher, and patient-- as she tries to make sense of her past and future. By the author of Hyssop. Reprint.

The Complete History of New Mexico: Stories
ISBN: 1555974139

Graywolf Press. 2005

"Compelling and complex . . . Strange and wonderful."
The New York Times Book Review, in praise of McIlvoy's previous fiction

I am going to write about the state of New Mexico and put in some maps and stuff from the encyclopedia. My theme is the Don Juan Onate trail and the Jornada Del Muerto. But I might write some other important things which as it turns out my stepmother got angry about and said she wouldn't type this until my Dad said "Dammit now it is history" and told her maybe there weren't commas in those days.

"The Complete History of New Mexico" is no ordinary research paper, and this is no ordinary collection of short stories. Eleven-year-old Chum's "history" unfolds over three distinctive and increasingly disturbing sections. He writes that "Coronado explored around and found Santa Fe in 1610" that "William Becknell was tracking wagons over everyplace in 1821" and that every day his best friend, Daniel, is afraid to go home.

Kevin McIlvoy intersperses the title novella with equally distinctive stories set in New Mexico. Laura, a plain, overweight nurse, encounters a terrified young man on his way to the Vietnam War and takes matters into her own hands. Zach spends time with his "white-trash" relatives and finds love's terrible and true face.

The Complete History of New Mexico is a stunningly original collection that will further McIlvoy's growing reputation.


National Endowment for the Arts fiction fellowship.

Speaking Engagements

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