Snow Falling on Cedars is a novel strongly committed to engaging with the ideals of justice, law, love, and morality. Structured around the trial of an American citizen of Japanese ancestry and set in an island community in the Puget Sound, the...
David Guterson was born in 1956 in Seattle, where his father practiced criminal defense law. After receiving his master's degree from the University of Washington, where he studied writing with Charles Johnson, Guterson moved to Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, where he taught high school English. He has said that his first novel, Snow Falling on Cedars, took ten years to finish: two years to think through, and eight to research and write. It was published in 1994. He also has stated that the novel was heavily influenced by Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
In 1996, he published a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind, and then published the novel East of the Mountains in 2000. In 2003, he released his third novel, Our Lady of the Forest.
Guterson currently is married and has four children. He has been an eloquent advocate for home schooling.