John Tracy Kidder (born November 12, 1945) is an American writer of nonfiction books. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his The Soul of a New Machine (1981), about the creation of a new computer at Data General Corporation. He has received praise and awards for other works, including his biography of Paul Farmer, a doctor and anthropologist, titled Mountains Beyond Mountains (2003).
Kidder is considered a literary journalist because of the strong story line and personal voice in his writing.:5 He has cited as his writing influences John McPhee, A. J. Liebling, and George Orwell.:127–128 In a 1984 interview he said, "McPhee has been my model. He's the most elegant of all the journalists writing today, I think.":7
Kidder wrote in a 1994 essay, "In fiction, believability may have nothing to do with reality or even plausibility. It has everything to do with those things in nonfiction. I think that the nonfiction writer's fundamental job is to make what is true believable."