David Guterson is an American author with a gift for language. He painstakingly chooses each word in his writings in order to depict detailed images and characters. As a writer, he believes his purpose is more than just entertainment. Guterson wants his readers to acquire knowledge or insight that can be applied to their own lives.
David Guterson was born in Seattle, Washington, on May 4, 1956, to Murray and Shirley Guterson. He grew up attending Seattle public schools and enjoyed outdoor activities, especially fishing. He described his childhood as an "average existence." Murray Guterson, David's father, was a successful and well-known criminal lawyer and a great influence on his son. Guterson was fascinated by his father's court cases. Although he was never pressured to become an attorney, Guterson would sometimes watch his father's trials. He learned two very important lessons from his father that will stay with him for life: "Find something you love to do - before you think about money - and do something that you feel has a positive impact on the world."
When Guterson completed high school, he attended the University of Washington. At first, he didn't know what he wanted to do in life. After spending only a week in his writing class, however, Guterson found a direction for his life. He knew he wanted to become a writer. Eventually Guterson earned a bachelor's degree in English literature in 1978. The next year he married Robin Ann Radwick. For a short time period, the couple lived in Rhode Island where Guterson was enrolled in the graduate writing program at Brown University. Guterson didn't like it, so the couple soon returned to the Northwest where they were happiest. He went on to earn a master's degree in creative writing in 1982.