Richard Peck

I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Decatur, Illinois, a middle-American town in a time when teenagers were considered guilty until proven innocent, which is fair enough. My mother read to me before I could read to myself, and so I dreamed from the start of being a writer in NewYork. But Decatur returned to haunt me, becoming the Bluff City of my four novels starring Alexander Armsworth and Blossom Culp. When I was young, we were never more than five minutes from the nearest adult, and that solved most of the problems I write about for a latergeneration living nearer the edge. The freedoms and choices prematurely imposed upon young people today have created an entire literature for them. But then novels are never about peopleliving easy lives through tranquil times; novels are the biographies of survivors.

I went to college in Indiana and then England, and I was a soldier in Germany -- a chaplain's assistant in Stuttgart -- ghost-writing sermons and hearing more Read More chevron_right