Writer Gary Paulsen is a prolific writer of children's books. He began writing over 30 years ago, when he was coming to terms with his alcoholism. For many years he and his wife lived in poverty in rural Minnesota. This changed when Paulsen won the Newbery Award for children's fiction in 1985 with Dogsong, about running the Iditarod. Paulsen's children's books often deal with adventurous youths who triumph over adversity in the wilderness. This interview first aired Oct. 6, 1992.
Author and former field engineer, editor, actor, migrant farm worker, farmer, trapper, truck driver and sailor Gary Paulsen. Paulsen has authored books for adults, young adults and children. His latest book for adult readers is "Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod" (Harcourt Brace and Company). The Iditarod has been called "the last great race on earth." It is the grueling 1,180 mile dogsled race over the Arctic terrain from Anchorage to Nome. Paulsen ran it twice. During training for the race, Paulsen almost lost his dogs and his own life.