Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John D. Blades  

Pen Name: John Blades

Genre: Creative Non-Fiction Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1936 in Springfield, Illinois

-- John D. Blades on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

John was born in Springfield and currently resides in Evanston.

Biographical and Professional Information

John Blades has been a reporter, an editor and book critic of the ''Chicago Tribune''. His fiction has been published in ''TriQuarterly'', ''The Quarterly'' and ''Chicago Magazine''. He has also written for the ''Washington Post'', ''Publishers Weekly'', ''The Morning News'', and numerous other publications. Blades now works as a freelance artist.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Small Game
ISBN: 0805017895

Henry Holt & Co. 1992

"It was the neighborhood spook house, vacant and neglected for almost a year. We got it at a closeout price. But it was no bargain."
Scott and Kathy Ryan don't have much choice. A third child has made their small city apartment burst its seams, and Scott's market-research job pays barely enough to cover the earnest money on this old ruin of a house in an about-to-be gentrified neighborhood. Moving in, they set to work with an energy born of desperation.
But it isn't long before Scott grows uneasy. The renovation seems to be taking forever, and his neighbors are acting decidedly odd. Meanwhile, at Scott's job, office colleagues are disappearing at an alarming rate as the recently merged conglomerate moves to consolidate with ruthless abandon. No one is safe.
Newly spackled walls that fissure, freshly applied paint that blisters household objects gone missing, then mysteriously reappearing in slightly altered condition at a neighbor's periodic yard sales vigilante patrols poking into private places at all hours of the night and a band of squirrels, oversexed and malignant, aggressively staking claim to more and more of the house: Scott Ryan finds himself battling a buckling, crumbling universe with only his paintbrushes and augers as weapons. Until he buys the gun.
Interleaving each only marginally askew detail amid the quotidian and the familiar, Small Game moves in deft, quick steps from the comfortable and the customary to the offbeat and the downright bizarre until the reader is forced to ask if Scott is the victim of society's pressure to toe the line - or the victim of an overactive imagination.
A mordantly funny tale of manners and mores in contemporary middle America, Small Game jolts us with the shock of recognition even as it releases us through the tonic of laughter.

How to Study James Joyce (Macmillan Study Skills)
ISBN: 0333592050

Palgrave. 1996

This guide to James Joyce's major novels presents a refreshing approach to understanding the work of this challenging and enigmatic giant of twentieth-century literature. Taking the student through a careful, step-by-step analysis of each text, John Blades demonstrates a practical and lively method of critical analysis.

John Keats
ISBN: 0333948947

Red Globe Press. 2002

This comprehensive guide to the poetry and letters of John Keats offers a highly readable and detailed textual analysis of the themes and techniques of his work. Blades assesses all the major writing - including the narratives and the great odes - and goes on to examine the context of the verse through a survey of the poet's letters and an examination of the key features of nineteenth century Romanticism. This lively and imaginative study concludes with a discussion of some of the most influential critical responses to Keats's work.


  • James Friend Memorial Award for Critism, 1989
  • Chicago Tribune Writing Award, 1990

    Speaking Engagements

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