Richard North Patterson was born on February 22, 1947 in Berkeley,
California. He grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland and graduated from Ohio
Wesleyan University in 1968. In 1971 he graduated Case Western Reserve Law
School and went on to serve as an Assistant Attorney General for the state of
Ohio. He was a partner in several of the countrys leading law firms and
also served as the liaison for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to
the Watergate Special Prosecutor.
He started writing at the age of 29 when he had completed law school. He began his first book, The Lasko Tangent, as part of a creative writing course at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It won the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the category "Best First Mystery Novel (American)" in 1980.
In 1993, he retired from the practice of law to devote himself to writing. He is chairman of the National Governing Board for Common Cause, and has served on boards of several advocacy groups dealing with gun violence, political reform, and reproductive rights.
He lives in San Francisco and on Martha's Vineyard with his partner, Dr Nancy Clair. In addition to winning the Edgar Allan Poe Award, he is also the recipient of the 1995 International Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (the most prestigious award for crime and detective fiction in France).
Partial Bibliography, to date
Christopher Paget series
The Lasko Tangent (1979)
Degree of Guilt (1992)
Eyes of a Child (1994)
The Outside Man (1981)
Escape the Night (1983)
Private Screening (1985)
Caroline Masters (1995), published in the UK as Final Judgement
Silent Witness (1996)
No Safe Place (1998)
Dark Lady (1999)
Protect and Defend (2000)
Balance of Power (2003)
The Race (2007)
The Spire (late 2009)
In the Name of Honor (2010)
The Devil's Light (2011)
Fall From Grace (2012)
This biography was last updated on 08/27/2013.
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Richard North Patterson discusses Eclipse
You acknowledge in your afterword that Eclipse is
based loosely upon the life and death of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigeria's courageous
human rights and environmental activist who was hung by the country's brutal
dictator fifteen years ago. For those of us who don't remember that story,
please tell us a bit about him and why he remains an important figure.
Ken Saro-Wiwa was a gifted novelist who created a force unique to Nigeria: a mass nonviolent movement among his ethnic group, the Ogoni, to fight the environmental and human rights abuses caused by the alliance between the oil industry and Nigeria's corrupt autocracy. While the extraction of oil from the Niger delta enriched the government and the oil companies, it left the delta's people more impoverished and their lands and water despoiled. Saro-Wiwa's defiance ultimately led to his execution in 1994 by the country's kleptocratic dictator, General Suni Abacha, after a trial based on dubious charges that Saro-Wiwa had instigated the death of several Ogoni chiefs. A tragic coda is that although Saro-Wiwa was widely admired in the West, the oil-dependent democracies that profess their devotion to human rights did ...
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