Gary Paulsen Essay

1032 words - 5 pages


Born May 17, 1939 in Minneapolis, MN to Oscar and Eunice Paulsen, Gary Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books, 200 articles and short stories, and several plays. He is known as one of America's most popular writers among young people and for his award winning survival stories.
Gary Paulsen did not have the best childhood growing up. His father served in the Army during World War II which sent him away from home for long periods at a time, and his mother away working in the ammunitions factory. They left him alone and unsupervised many times. His parents were known to drink too much, and be abusive to him. Paulsen was shy and not good at ...view middle of the document...

He worked as a truck driver, a sailor, and an electronics engineer. It was the long hours working at the computer that Paulsen decided there was something else he would rather be doing. He landed a job as a magazine editor in California and there he learned the craft of writing. He worked every night on his own writings and acquired the hunger to write and write. After almost a year of pitching his own writing, Paulsen sold his first article. He then decided to make the move back to the northern remote part of Minnesota to write full time. Paulsen struggled financially for several years. He produced several articles and books; however, these did not bring much money in. Paulsen began drinking a lot. He made the move to New Mexico to hopefully be able to write more but the years were spent drinking, fighting, and rusting his talents.
In 1973, Paulsen moved back to the Minnesota woods with his wife named Ruth. He quit drinking and began writing again. They lived off the land by farming and raising animals. Paulsen became a trapper and and a hunter to help support his family. He turned to the sport of dog racing and ran a dogsled team in two Iditarod 1,200 mile races. Paulsen loved adventure and he knew how to live and survive off the land. Paulsen suffered a heart attack after the second race and had to give up his dogs. He then started focusing all his energy into nothing but writing.
It was at this time, Paulsen began writing from the heart. He wrote from within his soul. The loneliness, and heartaches that he had been thru, the struggle for survival he had faced, and all the adventures that he had experienced. When Paulsen turned to writing fiction, it opened a new writing world for himself and ultimately success. He already had many books published like
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