Philip Caputo

Philip Caputo

Novelist and journalist Philip Caputo (1941 -- ) was born in Chicago and educated at Purdue and Loyola Universities. After graduating in 1964, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years, including a 16-month tour of duty in Vietnam. He has written 17 books, including three memoirs, ten works of fiction, and four of general nonfiction. His newest book, HUNTER'S MOON, a collection of linked short stories, was published in August, 2019. It received a rave, front-page review in the New York Times: "Set in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, these linked stories deftly probe the emotional wounds of men with lost jobs, bruised egos and failed expectations: an unflinching reality check on the state of middle-age manhood today." The Chicago Tribune hailed it as "a skillfully wrought, often mesmerizing novel-in-stories....written in a succinctly lyrical prose...fresh and surprising" and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette praised its "stellar writing and captivating relationships." His most recent novel, SOME RISE BY SIN, appeared in May, 2017, and was published in paperback in May, 2018. It tells the story of Timothy Riordan, a Franciscan priest struggling to walk a moral path through the shifting and fatal realities of an isolated Mexican village that is menaced by a bizarre, cultish drug cartel infamous for its brutality. In 2013, Caputo published the travel/adventure memoir THE LONGEST ROAD: Overland in Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean. A New York Times best seller, it describes an epic road trip from the southernmost point in the continental U.S., Key West, Florida, to the northernmost that can be reached by road, Deadhorse, Alaska, on the Arctic Ocean. The journey took 4 months and covered 17,000 miles. Though it bears Caputo's unique stamp, the narrative fuses elements of John Steinbeck, Jack Kerouac, William Least Moon, and Charles Kuralt. Caputo interviewed more than 80 Americans from all walks of life to get a picture of what their lives and the life of the nation are like in the 21st century. His first book, the acclaimed memoir of Vietnam, A RUMOR OF WAR, has been published in 15 languages, has sold over 1.5 million copies since its publication in 1977, and is widely regarded as a classic in the literature of war. It was adapted for the screen as a two-part mini-series that aired on CBS in 1980. Henry Holt & Co., its original publisher, brought out a 40th anniversary edition in August, 2017. Caputo appeared in 3 segments of Ken Burns's monumental documentary, The Vietnam War, aired on PBS in September, 2017. Caputo's 2005 novel ACTS OF FAITH, a story about war, love, and the betrayal of ideals set in war-torn Sudan is considered his masterpiece in fiction, and has sold more than 102,000 copies to date. It has been optioned for a TV series by Mad Rabbit productions. A subsequent novel, CROSSERS, set against a backdrop of drug and illegal-immigrant smuggling on the Mexican border, was published in hardcover in 2009 by Alfred A. Knopf and in paperback by Vintage in 2010. CROSSERS has been optioned for a feature film or TV adaptation by American Entertainment Investors, Inc., one of the leading financial advisors to the independent film industry. In addition to books, Caputo has published dozens of major magazine articles, reviews, and op-ed pieces in publications ranging from the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post to Esquire, National Geographic, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Topics included profiles of novelist William Styron and actor Robert Redford, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the turmoil on the Mexican border. Caputo's professional writing career began in 1968, when he joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune, serving as a general assignment and team investigative reporter until 1972. For the next five years, he was a foreign correspondent for that newspaper, stationed in Rome, Beirut, Saigon, and Moscow. In 1977, he left the paper to devote himself to writing books and magazine articles. Caputo has won 10 journalistic and literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 (shared for team investigative reporting on vote fraud in Chicago), the Overseas Press Club Award in 1973, the Sidney Hillman Foundation award in 1977 (for A Rumor of War), the Connecticut Book Award in 2006, and the Literary Lights Award in 2007. His first novel, HORN OF AFRICA, was a National Book Award finalist in 1980, and his 2007 essay on illegal immigration won the Blackford Prize for nonfiction from the University of Virginia. He and his wife, Leslie Ware, a retired editor for Consumer Reports magazine, and now a painter and novelist in her own right, divide their time between Connecticut and Arizona. Caputo has two sons from a previous marriage, Geoffrey and Marc, and three grandchildren: Livia, Anastasia, and Sofia. Visit for more information.
Read more Read less
Audible Premium Plus. $5.95 a month for your first 3 months. $14.95 per month after 3 months. Cancel anytime.

Featured Article: The Best Vietnam War Audiobooks, Fiction and Nonfiction

Over the past four decades, many people have written about the Vietnam War in an effort to make sense of the raging debates, the staggering death and destruction, and the lingering trauma. History is often complicated, biased, or missing key information, especially when it comes to war. Arm yourself with comprehensive knowledge of the conflict with our selection of titles detailing the Vietnam War, from fiction to nonfiction, personal stories to histories.

Best Sellers

Are you an author?

Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography.