Katherine Paterson: Biography

Katherine Paterson

31 okt 1932

Katherine Womeldorf Paterson was born in the Jiangsu Province of China in 1932. She grew up in China, learning to speak Chinese before she learned English. She is the author of over 30 books, of which 16 are novels for children and young adults.

Paterson has been highly acclaimed as an author. She has won the Newbery Medal twice, once for Bridge to Terabithia and once for Jacob Have I Loved. She has also won the National Book Award twice, for The Great Gilly Hopkins and The Master Puppeteer. She has also been recognised for her body of work as a whole winning the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1998, being named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000 and being awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2006.

Paterson grew up reading A. A. Milne, Kenneth Graham, Beatrix Potter and Rudyard Kipling. Whilst her ideas might not have been inspired by reading these writers as a child, Paterson has spoken about always aiming to make a reader connect with her own books in the way that she connected with these books as a child. She has used her own life experiences as inspiration for most of her books. Bridge to Terabithia came about after Paterson’s son’s friend was killed by a lightning strike, and The Great Gilly Hopkins was born from her own experiences as a foster mother.

Katherine Paterson now lives in Vermont with her dog, Pixie. She enjoys spending time with her seven grandchildren.