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Realistic Fiction Writers

Page history last edited by Tamara Simons 5 years, 9 months ago

Realistic Fiction

Well-Known Realistic Fiction Writers


John Irving was born John Wallace Blunt, Jr.  He is known for his upfront style of writing with sensitive topics.  Some of Irving's best works include: Cider House Rules, which deals with rape and incest,  The World According to Garp which touches on pedophilia and transsexualism, and The Water-Method Man whose topic is adultery.  Along with being on the cover of Time magazine, he won the Best Adopted Screenplay Academy Award.  Several of his novels have been made into major motion pictures. [1] [2]



Judy Blume was born on Feb. 12, 1938 as Judy Sussman. Judy attended New York University where she received a B.S. in education, later naming her a Distinguished Alumna. She has been  presented many awards such as the Margaret A. Edwards Award, Library of Congress Living Legends Award and many more contributions in her honor.  She is recognized as an Award-Winning Author of twenty-two children's books. At this time she currently resides up and down the East coast with her third husband Mr. Cooper. Judy has been married three times. She also has two children by her first husband and a stepchild by her third husband. She also has one grandchild. Judy Blume is currently a part of many children's organizations and is also with the National Coalition Against Censorship for the freedom to read. [3]



Katherine Paterson was born in Qing Jiang, Jiangsu, China on October 31, 1932 because her parents were missionaries there.  Paterson began her writing when the Presbyterian Church asked her to write a curriculum for the fourth and sixth graders.  Paterson, unlike many writers, has an understanding of several cultures such as Chinese, American,and Japanese, and this education helped her to succeed in writing.  She has received several awards, some of which are the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal, and most recently the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.  Currently Paterson is the vice-president of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance. [4] Paterson has had both Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins to be made into movies. Bridge to Terabithia has been so successful as a movie that it has been filmed twice. [5]



Joyce Carol Oates was born on June 10, 1938 in Lockport, New York. She began her writing career at age 14 when her grandmother gave her a typewriter.  Oates attended Syracuse University where she received the Madamoiselle Award for a fiction novel.She received her Master's degree at the University of Windsor in Canada. . Joyce would soon met Raymond Smith an the two married. Joyce Carol Oates has written over 90 books in her career. Most of them are based on the social outlook of the poor, sexual themes, and the female experience. Oates also writes under the names of Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly. Her novel Dear Husband  was published after the death of her husband, Raymond Smith, in 2008. [6,7,8]


Tim O'Brien was born in Austin, Minnesota on October 1, 1946. He grew up in a small town which became a source for many settings in his novels and short stories. O'Brien is known for his novels and short stories that deal with the Vietnam War. The Things They Carried is a well known novel that gives a detailed description on what O'Brien and the men went through during and after the war. O'Brien is able to capture the emotional side of these men to show the reader the psychological things issues they dealt with while in the war and at home years later after the war. O'Brien's novels are realistic because his books allow the reader to see an intimate side of his characters and see them as if they actually existed. [9]


Catherine Gilbert Murdock was born in Charleston, South Carolina.  She grew up on a small farm in Litchfield, Connecticut, with honeybees, goats and Christmas trees.  She has one sister named Elizabeth Gilbert, who is also a famous writer. Her family had a small colored TV, which made two bookworms out of the Gilbert sisters.  Catherine attended Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania, where she started out studying architecture, but then developed into an aspiring writer.  Murdock now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband and two children. Her first book was Dairy Queen published in 2006.[10,11,12]

Paul Langan was born in Philadelphia in 1972. Langan has written some of the Bluford High series books.He is from a small city in New Jersey and had a rough life, but managed to be successful and got the courage to write books after college and became a wonderful author of young adult fiction. He has had several jobs to help ends meet and those jobs made him who he is today. He went to Camden County College, and then later transferred to La Salle University where he earned a bachelor's degree in English. He gets the ideas to write his stories from many of his past jobs. He has served as both author and editor for the Bluford High series. Langan has been author or coauthor to the books The Bully, The Gun, Summer of Secrets, Brothers in Arms, and Blood is Thicker. Paul Langan is a great role model [13].

John Green - When coming up with a new idea for a book, John Green doesn't really know where his ideas come from. Green says he usually starts with a person he finds interesting, for example, a teenage girl with cancer being kept alive, but not cured, by a new cancer treatment. The person then usually mixes with an idea that intrigues or haunts him, such as why people want to leave a legacy behind. Give him a few months and the person that mixed with the idea could become a novel. [14]

Since John Green's book The Fault in Our Stars is being made into a movie, many fans wonder, will the movie be just like the book? The answer is yes! The script is nearly identical to the dialogue in the book. Although the movie is based upon Green's book, he did not have a part in writing the screenplay. He prefers to stay out of the way and let the director make the movie. [15]

Sharon Draper - How does a high school English teacher from Ohio become one of the best selling authors? Sharon Draper was inspired to write by one of her students who challenged her to write. She would always encourage her students to write and one day a male student questioned her by saying "So why don't you write?" And Sharon did just that. [16] She wanted to write something teens would love from the first page. [17] 

She also knows what teenagers don't like, so she bases her writings and novels on the opposite. Teenagers like short chapters, and for the action to be intense. She makes sure that the problems that are in her novels are real. [17] Sharon also brings new things into each novel to make sure that she doesn't contradict herself in any of her previous books. [16]




1. "John Irving." 3 Nov. 2005. Academy of Achievement 1May 2009



2. "John Irving." 14 April 2009. Wikipedia. 1 May 2009  



3. "Encyclopedia of World Biography on Judy Blume." Book Rags 2005-2006.Thomson Corporation.11 May 2009



4. "Katherine Paterson." 3 May 2009.  Wikipedia. 5 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Paterson>


 5. Paterson, Katherine.  "About Katherine." 2009. Katherine Paterson. 2009. 5 May 2009.       <http://www.terabithia.com/about.html>


6. Johnson, Greg."A Brief Biography." A Readers Guide to the Romance Novels of Joyce Carol Oates. 2 Feb.2009.University of San Francisco.4 May 2009.     <http://www.jco.usfca.edu/jco.bio.html


 7. "Joyce Carol Oates". The World Book Encyclopedia.2005.ed.


 8. Wands,D.C. "Joyce Carol Oates".23.Apr.2009.Fantastic      Fiction.7.May.2009.<http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/o/joyce-carol-oates/>


 9. "Tim O'Brien." 7 December 2009. Wikipedia. 9 December 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_O'Brien_(author)>


10. Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. "About the Author." Catherine Gilbert Murdock. 29 Apr. 2010.



11. "Author Profile: Catherine Gilbert Murdock. " 2006 Teen Reads.  The Book Report, 2010. Web. 3 May 2010.



12.  "Catherine Gilbert Murdock."  Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 April 2010. Web. 4 May 2010 <http://en.wikipedia.or/wiki/Catherine_Gilbert_Murdock>


13. "Biography of Paul Langan." ReadWriteThink. IRA/NCTE, 2004. Web. 14 Dec 2012.


14. Green, John. "Biographical Questions." John Green: New York Times bestselling author. Alan Lastufka, 2013. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.


15. Sims, Andrew. "John Green says 'almost every line' of 'Fault in Our Stars' dialogue included in film adaptation." Hypable. Hypable, 02 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.


16. Hendershot, Judy. "A Conversation with Sharon Draper, winner of the 1998 Coretta Scott King Award." Reading Teacher. Apr 1999: 748-750. Literary           Reference Center. Web. 19 Nov 2014.


17. Draper, Sharon. "Tears of a Tiger: Intro, Summary & General Questions." SharonDraper.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 19 Nov 2014.

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