David Guterson

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David Guterson
David Guterson 2013 at Cologne
David Guterson in April 2013
Born (1956-05-04) May 4, 1956 (age 58)
Seattle, Washington
Alma mater University of Washington

David Guterson (/ˈɡʌtərsən/ GUT-ər-sən; born May 4, 1956) is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, journalist, and essayist.

Early life[edit]

David Guterson was born May 4, 1956, in Seattle, Washington. During his childhood, he attended Seattle public schools, went to Roosevelt High School and later attended the University of Washington where he earned Bachelor of Arts Degree in English literature and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing. Guterson is also a Guggenheim Fellow.


Before writing professionally, Guterson worked as a teacher for 12 years. It was during his teaching career that Guterson began to publish stories and essays in small magazines and periodicals, later selling pieces to Esquire, Sports Illustrated and Harper's Magazine. Published in 1989, his first book, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind was a collection of short stories set mostly in the Pacific Northwest. His second book, Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense, was published in 1992 and contained essays on family and education. His third, and so far most popular novel, was Snow Falling on Cedars, published in 1994.[citation needed]

Guterson's freelance journalism included articles on environmental issues, travel writing and human interest features.[1]


Guterson is best known as the author of Snow Falling on Cedars (1994), recipient of the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award. To date, the novel has sold nearly four million copies[citation needed] and was adapted into a screenplay for the 1999 film of the same title. The film was directed by Scott Hicks and starred Ethan Hawke, James Cromwell, Sam Shepard, and Max von Sydow and went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for cinematography.

Guterson's subsequent novels include East of the Mountains (1999), Our Lady of the Forest (2003), The Other (2008), and Ed King (2011).

Personal life[edit]

Guterson married at age 23 and has four children. Currently, he lives on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound,[2][3] and is a co-founder of Field's End, an organization for writers.[4]


  • The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind: Stories (1989)
  • Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense (Non-fiction) (1992)
  • Snow Falling on Cedars (1994)
  • The Drowned Son (Stories)(1996)
  • East of the Mountains (1998)
  • Our Lady of the Forest (2003)
  • The Other (2008)
  • Ed King (2011)
  • Songs for a Summons (Poetry) (Feb. 10, 2014)
  • Problems with People: Stories (June 3, 2014)[5]


External links[edit]