Chris Crutcher: A Stotan for Young Adults
Secondary and Middle Grades Education
Chris Crutcher is a literary icon in the field of young adult literature. With his first book, Running Loose published in 1983, Crutcher established a reputation for giving young adults a voice in realistic fiction. Since then, Crutcher has written a number of books with spot-on depictions of young adults growing through hard times, including Ironman, Whale Talk, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, and Stotan! In Chris Crutcher: A Stotan for Young Adults, Bryan Gillis and Pam B. Cole examine the life, career, and works of this young adult advocate. This volume opens with a never-before-published comprehensive portrait of the author’s life, gleaned from numerous conversations with Crutcher. The authors explore Crutcher’s childhood, his adolescent years, his life as an adult, and his career as a family counselor and examine how those experiences became fodder for his stories. The authors also discuss Crutcher's encounters with censorship and his philosophical stance. Gillis and Cole also analyze Crutcher’s novels, short stories, and novellas, examining his literary craft and such social themes as bigotry, identity, sexuality, relationships, and loss—themes almost always positioned within a sports story. The most comprehensive study of Crutcher’s life and work to date, this book benefits tremendously from the cooperation of Crutcher himself. Generally reserved about private matters, Crutcher talks candidly about his life and how his experiences helped shape his character and his stories. His cooperative spirit gives voice to a book that will appeal not only to teachers and librarians but to students who have been enthralled by the works of this generous writer.