More About the Author
Gary Wiener, aka "Doc," "Dr. Wiener," "G-Dub," "Dr. G." and "Gar" to his friends (pronounced Gair, with the appropriate Rochester accent), was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1953. He attended Jericho High School on Long Island, capping an undistinguished high school career by somehow winning a power engineering scholarship from the Long Island Lighting Company to study at Northeastern University (He will always remember the immortal words of his high school physics teacher, Mr. Sferrazza: "Gary, don't be an engineer."). After two years at Northeastern, where he earned letters in track and cross country (he finished 66th in the New York Marathon in 1972), he switched majors to English, which prompted his parents to conjure nightmarish visions of his living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere. Fortunately, their vision was not as prophetic as that of the esteemed Mr. Sferrazza, and in 1974, Wiener transferred to The University of Buffalo, where he studied English and tried to make up for lost time by reading all of the books he had neglected during 19 previous years spent in an intellectual haze.
Wiener graduated from Buffalo in 1976, and took a teaching assistantship at SUNY Binghamton, where he taught undergraduate courses ("Rhetoric 110") and earned an M.A. in 1978, one year after marrying his college sweetheart, Iris Schifren. They moved to Cincinnati, where Iris pursued an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Cincinnati, and where Wiener taught for two years at Schwab Jr. High in Northgate. In 1980, they moved to Rochester. Wiener studied at The University of Rochester on a Rush Rhees Fellowship, earning his Ph.D. from the U. of R. in 1986. His dissertation on the novels of D.H. Lawrence is currently gathering dust under the white dome in the Rush Rhees Library stacks (and yes, you can look it up).
During these years Wiener taught at both The Harley School and Brighton Middle School, and, in 1985 he moved on to Brighton High School, where he taught for 15 years and served as department head for the entire decade of the 1990s. This long tenure in one position proved, if nothing else, that despite the vicissitudes of his life, he could hold a job.
In 2000, Wiener left Brighton to pursue administration as an Assistant Principal at Olympia High School in Greece. He worked there until 2003, when he left to become an English teacher at Pittsford Mendon High School, where he continues to teach. Currently he is also 6-12 English Standards Leader for the Pittsford Central Schools.
Wiener is the author/editor of nineteen books from Greenhaven Press (a subsidiary of Cengage Learning) for high school and college students, including Understanding The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Readings on Gulliver's Travels, Readings on Pygmalion, and others. He has recently completed work on War in For Whom the Bell Tolls, which is scheduled for publication in early 2013. He is now engaged in research for his latest book, Sexuality in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Wiener is also the author of numerous published short stories, poems, essays, and reviews including pieces in The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Newsweek, and Family Circle. In the 1990s he was co-editor, with Steve Engel, of the literary magazine Desperate Act, which published work by such established and up-and-coming writers as William Heyen, Thom Ward, and Ilya Kaminsky.
Wiener is the father of two children: Michael, who teaches English in Malaga, Spain, and Mollie, a freshman at Ithaca College. In his spare time, when he is not laboring over essays from his 60 students, he reads, writes, plays guitar for the band "The Blues Poseurs," and attempts to stay in shape by by clanking basketballs off the rim, slicing golf shots and shanking tennis balls.