David Guterson was born in Seattle in 1956. His father, Murray Guterson,
is a distinguished criminal defense lawyer: "One of the things I
heard [from him] early on was to find something you love to do--before you
think about money or anything else. The other thing was to do something
that you feel has a positive impact on the world."
Guterson received his M.A. from the University of Washington, where he
studied under the writer Charles Johnson. It was there that he developed
his ideas about the moral function of literature: "Fiction writers
shouldn't dictate to people what their morality should be," he said
in a recent interview. "Yet not enough writers are presenting moral
questions for reflection, which I think is a very important
After moving to Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, Guterson taught English
at the local high school and began writing journalism for Sports
Illustrated and Harper's magazine, where he is now a
contributing editor. His books include a collection of short stories, The
Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind, Family Matters: Why
Homeschooling Makes Sense, and Snow Falling on Cedars, which
won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, Our Lady of The Forest, and The Other.
This biography was last updated on 07/21/2011.
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