#Meet Author Chris Crutcher
Teen Lit Chat returns this July with a visit from acclaimed and bestselling author Chris Crutcher! Chris is a longtime writer of teen novels covering some pretty serious topics. But he's not a very serious person himself! Read on to learn more about Chris and to check out his recommendations for things to read, write and do. Then join Chris to talk about his books and writing process, live on Zoom!
Teen Lit Chat with Chris Crutcher, Thursday, July 14, at 7:00 p.m. This event will take place online via Zoom.
Chris Crutcher’s first novel, Running Loose, was published in 1983, and by 1984 made USA Today's top ten banned books list, along with nine other long-celebrated novels. He is proud to report that nearly all of his subsequent works have been censored and/or banned somewhere in the great U.S. of A, and that those challenges have earned him two lifetime achievement Intellectual Freedom Awards, one from the National Council of Teachers of English and the other from the National Coalition Against Censorship.
Crutcher first came face to face with his professional destiny and the vibrant, often courageous community that would provide inspiration for his fictional work as a teacher, then director, of a racially-diverse K-12 alternative school in Oakland, California. That and his subsequent twenty-odd years as both a therapist specializing in child abuse and neglect and chairperson for his region's Child Protection Team have informed his thirteen novels and two collections of short stories. In the midst of all that heartbreak and unforgiveable neglect and violence, he says, "new heroes arose" — compelling Crutcher to fashion his stories around them.
Interviewer Stacey Horan left her career as a corporate lawyer to become an award-winning author of young adult novels. Her works include Sycamore Lane, Inland and The Elixir Vitae Adventures (a five-book series). She also hosts a podcast called The Bookshop at the End of the Internet, which is dedicated to helping book lovers discover new authors. Visit her website at www.staceyhoran.com or find her on social media at @staceyleehoran.
Check out all of Chris's books from the library!
And when you’re done with those, Chris suggests these “must reads”:
- Stamped, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- Anything that makes you uncomfortable
- The U.S. Constitution, substituting (throughout) the word ‘human’ for ‘men’
If you’re looking for a prompt to get your creative juices flowing, try this recommendation from Chris:
“Must write: A story about some major conflict you’re having, through the eyes of the person with whom you’re having the conflict.”
Chris recommends these activities to make your life happier:
"Move. You gotta move every day…on a walk or run; on the wheels of a skateboard or a bicycle or a scooter; on the road or a track or through the forest; on a court or a field of play or through the water. When we came down out of the trees (and we did) males walked or ran about seventeen miles a day, females about thirteen; staying ahead of what wanted to eat us and catching what we wanted to eat. We’re born to move."
"Laugh! It’s almost impossible to feel depression in the midst of laughter (excluding sarcastic laughter). Read funny stuff, watch funny stuff, create funny stuff."
"Eat peanut butter with chocolate chip gelato.”
And, for fun, Chris offers these random things to consider:
- "I can’t always control what happens, but I can always control my response."
- "There is no act of heroism that doesn’t include standing up for myself."
- "Ants almost never sleep."
- "If my life is better because my partner is in it, and if my partner’s life is better because I'm in it, that’s Love."
- "Don’t eat yellow snow."
- "The truth doesn’t need me to believe it to be true."