Judith Guest

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Judith Guest
Born (1936-03-29) March 29, 1936 (age 84)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
GenreLiterary 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] She is a recipient of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.


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). Guest, along with her three sons and their families, currently resides in Minnesota.[3][4][1]



  1. ^ a b c Biography of Judith Guest (self-written) Archived 2006-06-17 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b https://books.google.com/books?as_auth=Judith%20Guest. Retrieved 25 January 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Detroit PSL Basketball » Detroit Free Press All-PSL/Detroit — 1950s". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Detroit PSL Basketball » All-Time PSL Single-Game Scoring Leaders". Retrieved 25 January 2017.

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