Scott Turow was born in Chicago on April 12, 1949, to David D. Turow, a physician, and Rita Pastron Turow, a writer. He grew up in Chicago and later in the affluent suburb of Winnetka, Illinois. From both parents he inherited a strong work ethic and powerful ambition. They expected him to become a physician like his father, but from a very early age he dreamed of being a writer. He edited his school newspaper and avidly read the authors who were to influence his own thought and work: Charles Dickens, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Saul Bellow, whom he considered the voice of his parents’ generation. After high school, he enrolled as an English major at Amherst College. He began writing fiction, publishing short stories in literary periodicals such as the Transatlantic Review. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Amherst in 1970, Turow attended the Stanford University Creative Writing Center for two years on an Edith Mirrielees Fellowship. On April 4, 1971, he married Annette Weisberg, an artist; the couple has three children.
While enrolled at Stanford, Turow worked on a novel about Chicago to be called The Way Things Are. However, one publisher after another rejected the manuscript, leading Turow to doubt his prospects as an author. He decided to pursue a legal career, entering Harvard Law School in 1975. However, he never abandoned writing, even temporarily, though at this point he saw it as a “private passion” rather than a career. He later recounted his law school experiences in a nonfiction book published in 1977 as One L: An Inside Account of Life in the First Year at Harvard Law School. While...
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