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Aug 25, 2022

Chris Crutcher’s first novel, Running Loose, was published in 1983, and by 1984 made USA Today's top ten banned books list, along with nine other long-celebrated novels. He is proud to report that nearly all of his subsequent works have been censored and/or banned somewhere in the great U.S. of A, and that those challenges have earned him two lifetime achievement Intellectual Freedom Awards, one from the National Council of Teachers of English and the other from the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Crutcher first came face to face with his professional destiny and the vibrant, often courageous community that would provide inspiration for his fictional work as a teacher, then director, of a racially-diverse K-12 alternative school in Oakland, California. That and his subsequent twenty-odd years as both a therapist specializing in child abuse and neglect and chairperson for his region's Child Protection Team have informed his thirteen novels and two collections of short stories. In the midst of all that heartbreak and unforgiveable neglect and violence, he says, "new heroes arose" — compelling Crutcher to fashion his stories around them.

Interviewer Stacey Horan left her career as a corporate lawyer to become an award-winning author of young adult novels. Her works include Sycamore LaneInland, and The Elixir Vitae Adventures (a five-book series). She also hosts a podcast called The Bookshop at the End of the Internet, which is dedicated to helping book lovers discover new authors. Visit her website at or find her on social media at @staceyleehoran.

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Chris Crutcher
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Stacy Horan
Twitter: @staceyleehoran

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