Richard Preston biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Richard Preston

Richard Preston

Richard Preston Biography

Richard Preston is the author of seven books, including The Hot Zone, The Cobra Event, The Demon in the Freezer and Wild Trees; and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages, and he's won numerous awards, including the American Institute of Physics Award and the National Magazine Award. He lives outside New York City with his wife and children. He teaches non-fiction writing program at University of Iowa

He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 5, 1954, and grew up in Wellesley, a suburb of Boston. One of three children (his brother is author Douglas Preston) he was a shy child and small for his age, and had difficulty learning to read. In fourth grade he discovered books and began reading everything he could get his hands on; but, even today, he says that he struggles putting simple letters together to make words.

He attended Wellesley High School, where he had mediocre grades and a bad disciplinary record, and was rejected by every college he applied to. One of the colleges that rejected him was Pomona College in southern California. He called the dean of admissions and asked if the college ever changed their mind, to which the answer was no. Preston started to call the dean once a week. Even though he called collect every time, the dean kept accepting his calls and eventually he was put on the waiting list and was admitted to college mid-year. He graduated summa cum laude.

From Pomona he went to Princeton University where he met his wife, Michelle, and got a Ph.D in English, writing his dissertation on nineteenth-century American narrative nonfiction writing.

His first book, First Light (a nonfiction book about astronomy) was published in 1987. He then wrote American Steel. In 1992 he became interested in the Ebola virus which led to an article in the New Yorker and the book, The Hot Zone. The Cobra Event (novel) followed, which describes a fictional bioterror event in New York City. In 2002 he published The Demon in The Freezer, a nonfiction book about bioterrorism and the smallpox virus.

In 2003 he published a children's book, The Boat of Dreams: A Christmas Story, about two children who meet a very odd Santa Claus in a flying lobster boat. Then he got hooked on climbing trees, resulting in Wild Trees (2007).

Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science was published in 2008.

Richard Preston's website

This bio was last updated on 07/09/2016. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Richard Preston at BookBrowse
Panic in Level 4 jacket The Wild Trees jacket The Demon In The Freezer jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Richard Preston but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Liv Arnesen

    Liv Arnesen

    Liv (pronounced 'leave') Arnesen's rich life experiences, both on and off the ice, have made her an internationally recognized leader and role model for women and girls. A self-proclaimed "keen" but not ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Wild Trees

    Try:
    No Horizon Is So Far
    by Liv Arnesen

  • Ann Bancroft

    Ann Bancroft

    Ann Bancroft is one of the world's preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader who is dedicated to inspiring women and girls around the world to unleash the power of their dreams. Through her various ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Wild Trees

    Try:
    No Horizon Is So Far
    by Ann Bancroft

We recommend 13 similar authors

View all 13 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...
  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...
  • Book Jacket: Mothers of Sparta
    Mothers of Sparta
    by Dawn Davies
    What it's about:
    The tagline on the back cover of Mothers of Sparta says it all: "Some women...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.