Novelist and journalist Philip Caputo (1941 -- ) was born in Chicago and educated at Purdue and Loyola Universities. After graduating in 1964, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years, including a 16-month tour of duty in Vietnam. He has written 15 books, including two memoirs, five books of general nonfiction, and eight novels.
Caputo recently completed the travel/adventure book THE LONGEST ROAD: Overland in Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean. It describes an epic road trip from the southernmost point in the U.S., Key West, Florida, to the northernmost that can be reached by road, Deadhorse, Alaska, on the Arctic Ocean. The journey took 4 months and covered 17,000 miles. Though it bears Caputo's unique stamp, the narrative fuses elements of John Steinbeck, Jack Keruoac, William Least Moon, and Charles Kuralt. Caputo interviewed more than 80 Americans from all walks of life to get a picture of what their lives and the life of the nation are like in the 21st century. Henry Holt will publish "The Longest Road" in Summer 2013.
Caputo's first book, the acclaimed memoir of Vietnam, A Rumor of War, has been published in 15 languages, has sold over 1.5 million copies since its publication in 1977, and is widely regarded as a classic in the literature of war. His 2005 novel "Acts of Faith," a story about war, love, and the betrayal of ideals set in war-torn Sudan is considered his masterpiece in fiction, and has sold 102,000 copies to date, His most recent novel, Crossers, set against a backdrop of drug and illegal-immigrant smuggling on the Mexican border, was published in hardcover in 2009 by Alfred A. Knopf and in paperback by Vintage in 2010.
In addition to books, Caputo has published dozens of major magazine articles, reviews, and op-ed pieces in publications ranging from the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post to Esquire, National Geographic, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Topics included profiles of novelist William Styron and actor Robert Redford, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the turmoil on the Mexican border.
Caputo's professional writing career began in 1968, when he joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune, serving as a general assignment and team investigative reporter until 1972. For the next five years, he was a foreign correspondent for that newspaper, stationed in Rome, Beirut, Saigon, and Moscow. In 1977, he left the paper to devote himself to writing books and magazine articles.
Caputo has won 10 journalistic and literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 (shared for team investigative reporting on vote fraud in Chicago), the Overseas Press Club Award in 1973, the Sidney Hillman Foundation award in 1977 (for A Rumor of War), the Connecticut Book Award in 2006, and the Literary Lights Award in 2007. His first novel, Horn of Africa, was a National Book Award finalist in 1980, and his 2007 essay on illegal immigration won the Blackford Prize for nonfiction from the University of Virginia.
He and his wife, Leslie Ware, an editor for Consumer Reports magazine, divide their time between Connecticut and Arizona. Caputo has two sons from a previous marriage, Geoffrey, a jazz composer and music teacher, and Marc, a political reporter for the Miami Herald.
Recently (Jan., 2013), his 2009 novel, Crossers, has been optioned for a feature film or TV apaptation by American Enterainment Investors, Inc., one of the leading financial advisors to the independent film industry. AEI's clients include such prominent production companies as Alcon Entertainment, River Road Entertainment, and Exclusive Media Group. AEI also advised Goldman Sachs and Assured Guarantee on restructuring The Weinstein Company in 2010."
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