Tracy Kidder graduated from Harvard and studied at the University of Iowa. He has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and many other literary prizes. The author of Strength in What Remains, Mountains Beyond Mountains, My Detachment, Home Town, Old Friends, Among Schoolchildren, House, and The Soul of a New Machine, Kidder lives in Massachusetts and Maine.
This biography was last updated on 09/01/2009.
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Tracy Kidder discusses Strength in What Remains
A Conversation with Tracy Kidder, author of Mountain Beyond Mountains
How did you meet Paul Farmer, and what made you want to write about him?
I met him in Haiti in 1994. I was doing a story on American soldiers sent there to reinstate the countrys democratically elected government. Farmer showed up one night at the barracks and got into an argument with the commander. I wasnt very interested in him then, but a few weeks later I ran into him on the plane to Miami and I began to learn some of the outlines of his life, which I found very interesting. Farmer was the second of six children, and spent most of his childhood in Florida, the whole family living on a bus and a houseboat that was moored in a bayou on the Gulf Coast. He went to Duke on a full scholarship, and then, while he was earning his M.D. and Ph.D at Harvard, he conceived and helped to build an amazing health care system in one of the poorest corners of Haiti. Around the time when I met him, he and his small band of colleagues were about to go to war against the dominant ideologies in international health eventually theyd actually win some significant battles.
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