Beth Gutcheon

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Beth Gutcheon
Beth Gutcheon 2014.jpg
Gutcheon in May 2014
Occupation Novelist
Education Miss Porter's School, Harvard University

Beth Gutcheon is a best selling American author having written ten novels and two quilting books.

Life and career[edit]

A graduate of Miss Porter's School[1] in Farmington, Connecticut, Gutcheon went on to study at Harvard University, earning a Bachelor of Arts with honors in English.

In 1973 Gutcheon published her first book, The Perfect Patchwork Primer;[2] two years later came its sequel, The Quilt Design Workbook,[3] written with then-husband, Jeffrey Gutcheon. Both works are considered classics in their field.[4]

In 1978, Gutcheon wrote the narration for a feature-length documentary about the Kirov ballet school in St. Petersburg, Russia called The Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Academy Award.[5] Other screenplays include The Good Fight (1992)[6] for Lifetime TV.

Gutcheon's first novel, The New Girls, was published in 1979. The novel drew loosely upon the author's own experience of the cruel and rarified atmosphere of elite boarding schools, and was well received by critics.[7]

Her second novel, Still Missing, was translated into 14 languages, and published in a condensed version by Reader's Digest, a large print edition for the vision-impaired, and made into an audio book.[8] Gutcheon used her appearances promoting the novel, whose plot centered on a child abduction, to elevate the subject of missing children to the level of a national issue, raising public awareness and support for Child Find of America.[9] The appearance of Missing Child photos on milk cartons was a direct result of this campaign, as was the creation of National Missing Children's Day. Still Missing was bought for the screen by movie producer Stanley R. Jaffe, who had recently won the Best Picture Oscar for Kramer vs. Kramer. Gutcheon was retained to write the screenplay.[10] The finished film, titled Without A Trace, was released by Twentieth Century Fox in February 1983, starring Kate Nelligan, Judd Hirsch, and Stockard Channing.[11]

Because of the similar timing of Still Missing and Without A Trace, some suggested a strained relationship between Gutcheon and the parents of famously missing child Etan Patz. The controversy was corrected in a 1982 letter to the Editor at the New York Times where Stanley K. Patz, Etan's father, said "We repeatedly stated that we had no quarrel with Beth Gutcheon and that we liked her."[12]

In spring 2010, Still Missing, was re-published in the UK by Persephone Books, a London-based publisher committed to reprinting "neglected classics by 20th Century (mostly women) writers."[13]

Gutcheon's other novels include bestsellers Domestic Pleasures (1991)[14] published in British, French, German and Swedish editions, Saying Grace (1995),[15] Five Fortunes (1998), and More Than You Know (2000) which are all available in German, as well. More Than You Know went on to become a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.[16] Leeway Cottage (2005) became a national bestseller the same year that HarperCollins republished Gutcheon's entire backlist in uniform trade paperback editions. Both More Than You Know and Leeway Cottage have been published in audio editions.

Her 2008 novel Good-bye and Amen was published in hardcover and HarperPerennial trade paper back editions; the audio version was a finalist for an Audie Award for Best Recorded Novel of the Year, 2010.[17]

Her 2012 novel Gossip was released by HarperCollins on March 20, 2012.[18]

Her latest novel, Death At Breakfast, was released by Wm/Morrow/HarperCollins on May 10, 2016. Death At Breakfast is the first entry in a stylish and witty mystery series featuring a pair of unlikely investigators—a shrewd novel of manners with a dark heart of murder at its center, set in small-town New England. The novel received a starred review from Booklist.



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