Teacher Wins Literary Prize
High school English teacher David Guterson--who, along with his family, was the subject of a February 1993 Teacher Magazine feature article on homeschooling--has won the prestigious 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the $15,000 award, the largest annual juried prize for fiction in the United States, for his book Snow Falling on Cedars, published in 1994 by Harcourt Brace. The novel, Guterson's first, centers on the trial of a Japanese-American fisherman accused of the murder of a German-American fisherman on a fictional Puget Sound island in the wake of World War II. Tracing the relationships and war experiences that appear to have led to the murder, Guterson examines the persistence of racism and the nature of injustice. In 1992, Guterson, who lives on Bainbridge Island, Wash., published Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense, which draws on his family's own experience with homeschooling.