Judith Guest

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Judith Guest
Born (1936-03-29) March 29, 1936 (age 82)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Michigan
Period 1976–present
Genre Literary fiction, mystery

Judith Guest (born March 29, 1936) is an American novelist and screenwriter. She was born in Detroit, Michigan and is the great-niece of Poet Laureate Edgar Guest (1881–1959).[1]


Guest's first book, Ordinary People, published in 1976, was the basis of the 1980 film Ordinary People that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.[1][2] This novel and two others, Second Heaven (1982) and Errands (1997), are about adolescents forced to deal with crises in their families. Guest also wrote the screenplay for the 1987 film Rachel River.

Guest co-authored the mystery Killing Time in St. Cloud (1988) with novelist Rebecca Hill. Guest's most recent book, The Tarnished Eye (2004), is loosely based on a real unsolved crime in her native Michigan.[2]


Guest attended Detroit's Mumford High School in 1951. When her family moved to Royal Oak, she transferred to Royal Oak High School; she graduated in 1954. Guest then studied English and psychology at the University of Michigan; she was also a member of Sigma Kappa sorority, graduating with a BA in education. Guest then taught at a public school for several years before making the decision to devote herself full-time to completing a novel.

Guest was married for nearly 50 years to her college sweetheart, businessman Larry LaVercombe (1936-2009). LaVercombe was a former All-City basketball player at Detroit's Cooley High School, and a graduate of the University of Michigan. Guest, along with her three sons and their families, currently resides in Minnesota.[3][4][1]



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