John Henry Noyes Collier
- for others with the same name, see John Collier
(3 May 1901 — 6 April 1980) was a British-born author and screenplay writer best known for his short stories, many of which appeared in The New Yorker
from the 1930s to the 1950s. They were collected in a 1951 volume, Fancies and Goodnights
, which is still in print. Individual stories are frequently anthologized in fantasy collections. John Collier's writing has been praised by authors such as Anthony Burgess, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman and Paul Theroux. He was married to early silent film actress Shirley Palmer. His second marriage in 1942 was to New York actress Beth Kay (Margaret Elizabeth Eke). They divorced a decade later. He has one child, a son, from his third marriage.
Born in London in 1901, John Collier was privately educated by his uncle Vincent Collier, a novelist. When, at the age of 18 or 19, Collier was asked by his father what he had chosen as a vocation, his reply was, "I want to be a poet." His father indulged him; over the course of the next ten years Collier lived on an allowance of two pounds a week plus whatever he could pick up by writing book reviews and acting as a cultural correspondent for a Japanese newspaper. During this time, being not overly burdened by any financial responsibilities, he developed a penchant for games of chance, conversation in cafes and visits to picture galleries. He never attended university.