David Guterson





David Guterson

Author profile


born
in Seattle, Washington, The United States
May 14, 1956

gender
male

website

genre


About this author

David Guterson is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, journalist, and essayist.

He is best known as the author of the novel Snow Falling on Cedars (1994), which won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award. To date it has sold nearly four million copies. It was adapted for a 1999 film of the same title, directed by Scott Hicks and starring Ethan Hawke. The film received an Academy Award nomination for cinematography. Guterson's subsequent novels are East of the Mountains (1999), Our Lady of the Forest (2003), and The Other (2008). He is also the author of a short story collection, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind (1989) and of a book of essays on education called Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense (1992).

Guterson was bor
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Average rating: 3.70 · 109,098 ratings · 4,835 reviews · 12 distinct works · Similar authors
Snow Falling on Cedars
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 96,960 ratings — published 1994 — 92 editions
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East of the Mountains
3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 3,567 ratings — published 1999 — 35 editions
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The Other
3.39 of 5 stars 3.39 avg rating — 2,465 ratings — published 2008 — 29 editions
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Snow Falling On Cedars / Ea...
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 1,709 ratings — published 2004 — 2 editions
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Our Lady Of The Forest
2.97 of 5 stars 2.97 avg rating — 2,555 ratings — published 2003 — 29 editions
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Ed King
3.17 of 5 stars 3.17 avg rating — 1,294 ratings — published 2011 — 15 editions
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The Country Ahead of Us, th...
3.33 of 5 stars 3.33 avg rating — 446 ratings — published 1989 — 16 editions
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Family Matters: Why Homesch...
3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 305 ratings — published 1992 — 5 editions
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Problems with People: Stories
3.37 of 5 stars 3.37 avg rating — 185 ratings — published 2014 — 7 editions
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Descent: A Memoir of Madness
3.0 of 5 stars 3.00 avg rating — 57 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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More books by David Guterson…

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October 2011, David Guterson
"A cavalier Internet billionaire meets his nightmarish fate in Ed King, a 21st-century take on the Oedipus myth by the author of Snow Falling on Cedars." ...More

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“Accident ruled every corner of the universe except the chambers of the human heart.”
David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars

“None of those other things makes a difference. Love is the strongest thing in the world, you know. Nothing can touch it. Nothing comes close. If we love each other we're safe from it all. Love is the biggest thing there is.”
David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars

“To deny that there was this dark side of life would be like pretending that the cold of winter was somehow only a temporary illusion, a way station on the way to the higher "reality" of long, warm, pleasant summers. But summer, it turned out, was no more real than the snow that melted in wintertime.”
David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars
tags: life

Polls

Help us pick Nothing but Reading Challenges' December Anything Goes Book of the Month from among the books our members nominated. Also, please note this is the first month members can use the Power Votes. For more information check out this post: Banking Voting Power Points: The Rules

The House At Riverton by Kate Morton
The House At Riverton by Kate Morton

Book synopsis:
Summer 1924

On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999

Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories - long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind - begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.
 
  15 votes 19.5%

Breed by Chase Novak
Breed by Chase Novak

Book synopsis:
Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.

Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.

Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.
 
  15 votes 19.5%

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Book Synopsis:
"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what's been missing in her life. And when she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
 
  8 votes 10.4%

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Book Synopsis:
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding, that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives, the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness, are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love, a stunning accomplishment.
 
  8 votes 10.4%

Low Pressure by Sandra Brown
Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

Book Synopsis:
Bellamy Lyston Price was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy's fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene as well as her memory of one vital fact that still eludes her...

Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a novel based on Susan's murder. It's her first book, and it's an instant sensation. But because the novel is based on the most traumatic event of her life, she's published it under a pseudonym to protect herself and her family.

But when a sleazy reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on a real crime, Bellamy's identity - and dark family secrets -- are exposed. Suddenly, she finds herself embroiled in a personal conflict and at the mercy of her sister's killer, who for almost two decades has gotten away with murder...and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.
 
  6 votes 7.8%

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Book Synopsis:
San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow Falling on Cedars is a masterpiece of suspense - one that leaves us shaken and changed.

"Haunting.... A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper." -Los Angeles Times

"Compelling...heartstopping. Finely wrought, flawlessly written." -The New York Times Book Review
 
  6 votes 7.8%

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Book synopsis:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.
 
  6 votes 7.8%

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
The Christmas List by
Richard Paul Evans

Book synopsis:
Dear Reader,

When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don't remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn't considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.

What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson's assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.

As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them. Their legacy.

Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family's holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. I don't know how many times I've seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, "giddy-as-a schoolboy" man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That's what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas -- a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.

Merry Christmas
 
  5 votes 6.5%

Night Over Water by Ken Follett
Night Over Water by Ken Follett

Book synopsis:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett takes to the skies in this classic novel of international suspense. Set in the early days of World War II, Night over Water captures the daring and desperation of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances—in prose as compelling as history itself. September 1939. England is at war with Nazi Germany. In Southampton, the world’s most luxurious airliner—the legendary Pan Am clipper—takes off for its final flight to neutral America. Aboard are the cream of society and the dregs of humanity, all fleeing the war for reasons of their own…shadowed by a danger they do not know exists…and heading straight into a storm of violence, intrigue, and betrayal…
 
  4 votes 5.2%

Nickel and Dimed  On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Book synopsis:
The New York Times bestseller, and one of the most talked about books of the year, Nickel and Dimed has already become a classic of undercover reportage.

Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.
 
  4 votes 5.2%

77 total votes
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