Animated Star 17th Annual Key West Literary Seminar Animated Star
January 7-10, 1999
Writers' Workshops - January 11-14, 1999
The American Novel, January 7-10, 1999 PHILIP CAPUTO

PHILIP CAPUTO was born in Chicago in 1941 and received his B.A. in English from Loyola in 1964. He is one of America’s most prominent writers.
Philip Caputo
Photo by Rollie McKenna
His memoir, “A Rumor of War,” remains a standard text on the Vietnam War, and his novels have solidified his reputation as an important and perceptive commentator on what can happen when human beings struggle, as Caputo puts it, “to navigate through ethical wastelands stripped bare of landmarks that guide human actions.” Caputo served in Vietnam in the Marine Corps, and for several years worked as a journalist, most notably for the Chicago Tribune, where as part of an investigative team he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Today he contributes journalism to Esquire, among other magazines. Caputo is married to Leslie Blanchard Ware, assistant managing editor, Consumer Reports.

“Now that I’ve entered my fifties, beyond all hope of dying young, I realize that there was one guise I wasn’t familiar with, and that was the one in which Death appears to the overwhelming majority of people, even in this blood-dimmed century. Death as everyday event. Death as quotidian as Monday’s wash and as regular as a suburban train. So far, I haven’t figured out any style or swagger for facing the decline of physical and mental and sexual powers, the remorseless thinning of one’s hair and thickening of one’s waistline, the slow fading of the light that induces midlife melancholy and ends in extinction. Learning how to look into the scarlet eye of violent death without flinching teaches you nothing about how to confront the gray dread of nothingness that steals into you around the age when you need your first pair of reading glasses. It won’t help you conquer the post-fifty nostalgia for the time when you were young and strong and owned that most precious commodity--the future. We are all of us marching inexorably to the grave, and it may be that the whole point of our lives is the grace and dignity with which we meet our last moment.”

Animated book    BIBLIOGRAPHY    Animated book
  • Exiles, 1997
  • Equation for Evil, 1996
  • Means of Escape, 1991
  • Indian Country, 1987
  • DelCorso’s Gallery, 1983
  • Horn of Africa, 1980
  • A Rumor of War, 1977


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