David Guterson was born in Seattle, Washington in 1956. He taught high school for many years, and wrote a collection of essays and articles about education and why homeschooling is a good idea.
He also published a short-story collection, The Country Ahead of Us, The Country Behind (1989). But he’s best known for his first novel, Snow Falling on Cedars (1994).
It’s the story of a Japanese American on trial for murder at the end of World War II, and he got the idea from teaching Romeo and Juliet and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Guterson combined a star-crossed love story with a courtroom drama, and his book won the PEN/Faulkner award for fiction. His most recent novel, Ed King, was published in 2011.