IntroductionReaders often cannot agree on the work of Chris Crutcher. Although his youth-oriented novels have received numerous plaudits from the literary community, several of his titles have also been removed from libraries and banned from schools’ curricula. For some critics, Crutcher offers an unflinchingly honest portrayal of the many complexities and struggles of being a young person. Others find his content questionable and his blunt discussions of abuse, addiction, and sexuality to be troubling for young audiences. Despite the controversy, Crutcher has established a reputation for being an insightful writer about the pains, heartaches, and successes faced by young adults in America today.
- Along with literature, Crutcher studied psychology and sociology. Many critics have credited these studies with influencing his unique perspective as a writer.
- Another part of Crutcher’s insight into the minds of young people can be attributed to his teaching at an alternative school for nearly ten years.
- In addition to writing books and short stories, Crutcher has also worked as a columnist.
- Crutcher is a life-long sports enthusiast, and many of his passions, particularly swimming, figure prominently in his novels.
- One of Crutcher’s short stories was adapted into the 1995 feature film Angus, which starred James Van Der Beek, George C. Scott, and Kathy Bates.
Chris Crutcher, born in the small and isolated logging town of Cascade, Idaho, on July 17, 1946, graduated from the Eastern Washington State University in 1968 and, despite what he calls his unremarkable performance as a student, later excelled as a teacher for at-risk teens at the Kennewick Dropout School in Washington State. After spending the next ten years working with troubled youth, specifically as a mental-health therapist, Crutcher became reacquainted with old college friend and writer Terry Davis. After working with Davis on his novel Vision Quest, Crutcher embarked on a writing career of his own, publishing his first book, Running Loose, in 1983. The novel was named an ALA Best Book and led to a string of successful young adult novels, which earned Crutcher a reputation for telling stories that honestly portray the life struggles of adolescents and tackle tough issues.
Despite his lack of formal training in the art of writing, Crutcher would go on to pen six novels for young adults, as well as one adult novel, over the course of his career. While his writing eventually took precedence over his work as a therapist, Crutcher still works with the Child Protection Team in Spokane, which is an organization of mentalhealth professionals who handle the most difficult cases. Continuing his work with disadvantaged youth gives Crutcher material for his novels, and he draws upon real-life experiences for inspiration. In fact, his mother was...
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Chris Crutcher was born on July 17, 1946, in Cascade, Idaho. He has a B. A. from Eastern Washington State College. He has worked in mental health care, frequently with abused children, with family problems, and with at-risk teenagers. Currently he works on contract with Community Mental Health in Spokane, Washington, but his main occupation is writing fiction. His literary works reflect his interest in young people, in mental health, and in sports. All his books have been recognized by the American Library Association as Best Books for Young Adults. Crutcher has developed Running Loose into a screenplay and looks forward to its production. Another of his books, The Deep End (1991), a suspense story dealing with mental health issues and aimed at adults, has been bought for film release.
Some of the characters who appear in the novels also appear in Crutcher's collection of short stories called Athletic Shorts. The title of the collection typifies the author's sense of humor and enjoyment of words.
Crutcher has completed a book, Ironman, about a triathlete who has difficulty controlling his anger, or so the adults in his life think.
Like many successful young adult authors, Crutcher does not write intentionally/ or teenagers. He writes about teenagers, and the resulting books are thus appealing to high school-aged readers.
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Christopher C. Crutcher was born on July 17, 1946 in the logging and lumber camp of Cascade, Idaho, which he transformed into Trout, Idaho in Running Loose. Because he attended a small high school, he participated in most major sports, including football, basketball, and track. Like Louie Banks of Running Loose, Crutcher's father was also the chairman of the school committee.
Crutcher attended Washington State College, majoring in sociology and psychology. While in college, he swam competitively, experiencing a week of endurance training like the swimmers in Stotan! After graduating in 1968, Crutcher became a teacher and the director at an alternative school in Oakland, California, a setting which he used in The Crazy Horse Electric Game (1987). While in California, he took a writing workshop to provide himself with a creative outlet. At the suggestion of a writer friend, he expanded a short story into Running Loose, his first published novel. In 1976, he moved back to Spokane, where he still works as a child and family therapist in a mental health center.
Crutcher's background in sports is obvious in his young adult novels, each of which uses athletics to explore human nature. Crutcher's first novel, Running Loose (1983), which features a high school senior, Louis Bradley, who runs track to keep his sanity in the face of his girlfriend's death, was named an American Library Association Best Book for...
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Chris Crutcher is one of the most honored young adult novelists, having won the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Young Adult Services Library Association, an award from ALAN (Assembly on Adolescent Literature) for significant contributions to young adult literature, and the Intellectual Freedom Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. Pretty amazing for a self-professed academic underachiever who often tells the story of how he read only one book (To Kill a Mockingbird) cover-to-cover during four years of high school.
Crutcher was born July 17,1946, in Dayton, Ohio, the middle child of parents he claims were just passing through the city. He told Dave Jenkinson in an interview in Emergency Librarian that they all arrived "before I got dry" in Cascade, Idaho, a small lumber and logging town of less than 1,000 people. His father, John, had been a B-17 pilot in World War II. Crutcher described his father to Betty Carter in an interview for School Library Journal as "deliberate and extremely patient, though he could be a little hard to please." Like the father in the story "Goin' Fishin'" from Athletic Shorts, he told Carter that his father "always thought I was a little too frivolous and I always thought he was a little too serious." He grew up in a dysfunctional household where he often took the role of the caretaker, telling Carter that "my mother was a pretty significant...
(The entire section is 2846 words.)
Chris Crutcher is one of the most honored young adult novelists, having won the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Young Adult Services Library Association, an award from the Assembly on Adolescent Literature for significant contributions to young adult literature, and the Intellectual Freedom Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. Pretty amazing for a self-professed academic underachiever who often tells the story of how he read only one book—To Kill a Mockingbird—cover-to-cover during four years of high school.
Crutcher was born on July 17, 1946, in Dayton, Ohio; he is a middle child. He says that they all arrived in Cascade, Idaho, a small lumber and logging town of less than 1,000 people, while he was still an infant. His father, John, had been a B-17 pilot in World War II. Crutcher described his father as "deliberate and extremely patient, though he could be a little hard to please." Like the father in the story "Goin' Fishin'" from Athletic Shorts, his father "always thought I was a little too frivolous and I always thought he was a little too serious." He grew up in a dysfunctional household where he often took the role of the caretaker—"my mother was a pretty significant alcoholic through my junior high, high school, and college years."
His family were all readers, although Crutcher preferred to play sports or watch television. Getting good grades was also not...
(The entire section is 2584 words.)