Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Phil Caputo  

Pen Name: Philip Caputo

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Born: 1941 in Westchester, Illinois - a village of Chicago

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Caputo was born in Westchester, Illinois. He attended Fenwick High School in Oak Park and Loyola University in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Caputo is a novelist and journalist. He shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1973, when he was a reporter for the ''Chicago Tribune''.He was born in Chicago and educated at Purdue and Loyola Universities. After graduating in 1964, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years, including a 16-month tour of duty in Vietnam. He has written 14 books, including two memoirs, four books of general nonfiction, and eight novels. His acclaimed memoir of ''Vietnam, A Rumor of War'', is a memoir of his service during the Vietnam War as a marine lieutenant. It is widely regarded as a classic in the literature of war and has been published in 15 languages, has sold over 2 million copies since its publication in 1977.He now resides in Norwalk, Connecticut and Patagonia, Arizona.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

A Rumor of War
ISBN: 0606222065

Demco Media. 2002

A personal memoir of the war in Vietnam, in which the author first served as a Marine and which he later covered as a reporter.

A Rumor of War
ISBN: B00166G8VM

Ballantine Books. 1986

Horn of Africa: A Novel
ISBN: 0375725113

Vintage. 2002

When Vietnam veteran and foreign correspondent Charlie Gage is recruited by the shadowy Thomas Colfax to assist with something called Operation Atropos, he has no idea he is about to be enlisted for guerilla warfare in northeast Africa. Once he realizes he’s a mercenary, however, he is not at all concerned. Ever since his young secretary was killed by a grenade at their bureau office in Beirut a couple of years before, he has lost all volition. Which is why he so readily capitulates not only to Colfax, but also, and more dangerously so, to every command of Jeremy Nordstrand, the mystical megalomaniac determined to achieve greatness on their seemingly suicidal mission. Set in the forsaken yet exotic deserts of Ethiopia, Horn of Africa is a vividly detailed and masterfully plotted novel chronicling a broken man’s struggle for salvation and inner freedom in the midst of a broken nation’s fight for stability and peace.

DelCorso's Gallery
ISBN: 0375725091

Vintage. 2001

A classic novel of Vietnam and its aftermath from Philip Caputo, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir A Rumor of War is widely considered among the best ever written about the experience of war.

At thirty-three, Nick DelCorso is an award-winning war photographer who has seen action and dodged bullets all over the world–most notably in Vietnam, where he served as an Army photographer and recorded combat scenes whose horrors have not yet faded in his memory. When he is called back to Vietnam on assignment during a North Vietnamese attempt to take Saigon, he is faced with a defining choice: should he honor the commitment he has made to his wife not to place himself in any more danger for the sake of his career, or follow his ambition back to the war-torn land that still haunts his dreams? What follows is a riveting story of war on two fronts, Saigon and Beirut, that will test DelCorso’s faith not only in himself, but in the nobler instincts of men.

Indian Country
ISBN: 0375725105

Vintage. 2004

Indian Country is a sweeping, brave and compassionate story from one of our most acclaimed chroniclers of the Vietnam experience.
Christian Starkmann follows his boyhood friend, an Ojibwa Indian called Bonny George, from the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where they roamed, hunted and fished in their youths, to the wilderness of Vietnam, where they serve as soldiers in the same platoon. After returning home from the war, his friend buried on the battlefield he left behind, Christian begins to make a life for himself. Yet years later, although he is happily married to June, a good-hearted social worker, and has two daughters, Christian is still fighting--with the searing memories of combat, with the paranoid visions that are clouding his marriage and threatening his career, and most of all with the ghost of Bonny George, who haunts his dreams and presses him to come to terms with a secret so powerful it could destroy everything he has built.

Means of Escape
ISBN: 0060984023

Perennial. 1992

Focuses on the author's experiences in some of the world's most punishing war zones, from Beirut to Saigon to Afghanistan, and portrays the horrors of modern war through the eyes of a foreign correspondent

Equation for Evil: A Novel
ISBN: 0060984112

Bourbon Street Books. 2014

On a quiet morning in California, a lone gunman opens fire on a busload of children headed for a field trip, then turns the gun on himself. Forensic psychiatrist Leander Heartwood and special agent Gabriel Chin team up to investigate the case, seeking at first only to solve this single disturbing crime but in time delving into issues of race, morality, and the complex forces at work in all horrifying acts of violence.

Part mystery, part psychological thriller, part piercing social commentary, Equation for Evil is a riveting and incisive meditation on violence and the nature of evil.

The Voyage: A Novel
ISBN: 0679768394

Vintage. 2000

In the tradition of great seafaring adventures, The Voyage is an intricately plotted, superbly detailed, and gripping story of adventure and courage. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Philip Caputo has written a timeless novel about the dangerous reverberating effects of long held family secrets.

On a June morning in 1901, Cyrus Braithwaite orders his three sons to set sail from their Maine home aboard the family's forty-six-foot schooner and not return until September. Though confused and hurt by their father's cold-blooded actions, the three brothers soon rise to the occasion and embark on a breathtakingly perilous journey down the East Coast, headed for the Florida Keys.

Almost one hundred years later, Cyrus's great-granddaughter Sybil sets out to uncover the events that transpired on the voyage. Her discoveries about the Braithwaite family and the America they lived in unfolds into a stunning tale of intrigue, murder, lies and deceit.

Exiles
ISBN: 0517353504

Random House Value Publishing. 1999

With Exiles, his first collection of shorter fiction, the author of the universally acclaimed, best-selling memoir A Rumor of War ("It will make the strongest among us weep",

wrote John Gregory Dunne) sends the reader on a tripartite adventure.

First to suburban Connecticut, where a young blue-collar man on the way to his mother's funeral falls in with an upper-crust couple who lavish attention on him and pull him into unexpected dilemmas.

Then to Australia's Torres Strait, where a charismatic but troublesome stranger washes ashore into the thick of a struggle for a tiny island's very identity.

Then to Vietnam--vintage Caputo territory--where a squad of misfits plunge deep into the jungle in search of the body of their mess sergeant, who has been carried off by a tiger.

No matter the backdrop, Philip Caputo's ear for the vernacular is unerring, while his interrogation of human nature--of the deceptions we inflict on ourselves and others--is unflinching. Exiles affirms the remarkable range, the freedom from genre, of a writer whose "meditations on the love and hate of war

were hailed by William Styron as "among the most eloquent I have read in modern literature.

10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War
ISBN: 0689862318

Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2005

It was the war that lasted ten thousand days. The war that inspired scores of songs. The war that sparked dozens of riots. And in this stirring chronicle, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist Philip Caputo writes about our country's most controversial war -- the Vietnam War -- for young readers. From the first stirrings of unrest in Vietnam under French colonial rule, to American intervention, to the battle at Hamburger Hill, to the Tet Offensive, to the fall of Saigon, 10,000 Days of Thunder explores the war that changed the lives of a generation of Americans and that still reverberates with us today.
Included within 10,000 Days of Thunder are personal anecdotes from soldiers and civilians, as well as profiles and accounts of the actions of many historical luminaries, both American and Vietnamese, involved in the Vietnam War, such as Richard M. Nixon, General William C. Westmoreland, Ho Chi Minh, Joe Galloway, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson, and General Vo Nguyen Giap. Caputo also explores the rise of Communism in Vietnam, the roles that women played on the battlefield, the antiwar movement at home, the participation of Vietnamese villagers in the war, as well as the far-reaching impact of the war's aftermath.
Caputo's dynamic narrative is highlighted by stunning photographs and key campaign and battlefield maps, making 10,000 Days of Thunder THE consummate book on the Vietnam War for kids.

13 Seconds: A Look Back at the Kent State Shootings
ISBN: 1596090804

Chamberlain Bros.. 2005

Thirteen seconds passed. Sixty-seven shots were fired. One nation watched . . .

On May 4, 1970, Ohio's Kent State University was in chaos following President Richard Nixon's announcement that the U.S. bombing of Cambodia would continue, with student protesters on one side and the National Guard on the other. That day, young Chicago Tribune reporter Philip Caputo had been sent to the campus to cover what looked like just another student uprising. But by the time he arrived, things had erupted into one of the watershed moments of the antiwar movement, with four students dead and nine wounded in a hail of bullets fired by panicked guardsmen. Now, thirty-five years later, the author of A Rumor of War looks back on that terrible day, discussing his own emotions, the nature of political discourse and civil disobedience, and what happened to those who were there and how they still live with the pain and anger every day. It was a time when America turned upon itself and our nation's innocence was lost.

Acts of Faith
ISBN: 0375725970

Vintage. 2006

Philip Caputo’s tragic and epically ambitious new novel is set in Sudan, where war is a permanent condition. Into this desolate theater come aid workers, missionaries, and mercenaries of conscience whose courage and idealism sometimes coexist with treacherous moral blindness. There’s the entrepreneurial American pilot who goes from flying food and medicine to smuggling arms, the Kenyan aid worker who can’t help seeing the tawdry underside of his enterprise, and the evangelical Christian who comes to Sudan to redeem slaves and falls in love with a charismatic rebel commander.

As their fates intersect and our understanding of their characters deepens, it becomes apparent that Acts of Faith is one of those rare novels that combine high moral seriousness with irresistible narrative wizardry.

Crossers
ISBN: 0375411674

Knopf. 2009

From the acclaimed author of Acts of Faith (“A miracle . . . You can hardly conceive of a more affecting reading experience”—Houston Chronicle), a blistering new novel about the brutality and beauty of life on the Arizona-Mexico border and about the unyielding power of the past to shape our lives. Taking us from the turn of the twentieth century to our present day, from the impoverished streets of rural Mexico to the manicured lawns of suburban Connecticut, from the hot and dusty air of an isolated ranch to New York City in the wake of 9/11, Caputo gives us an impeccably crafted story about three generations of an Arizona family forced to confront the violence and loss that have become its inheritance.

When Gil Castle loses his wife in the Twin Tower attacks, he retreats to his family’s sprawling homestead in a remote corner of the Southwest. Consumed by grief, he has to find a way to live with his loss in this strange, forsaken part of the country, where drug lords have more power than police and violence is a constant presence. But it is also a world of vast open spaces, where Castle begins to rebuild his belief in the potential for happiness—until he starts to uncover the dark truths about his fearsome grandfather, a legacy that has been tightly shrouded in mystery in the years since the old man’s death.

When Miguel Espinoza shows up at the ranch, terrified after two friends were murdered in a border-crossing drug deal gone bad, Castle agrees to take him in. Yet his act of generosity sets off a flood of violence and vengeance, a fierce reminder of the fact that while he may be able to reinvent himself, he may never escape his history.

Searingly dramatic, bold and timely, Crossers is Philip Caputo’s most ambitious and brilliantly realized novel yet.


Awards

-- 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Coverage of Primary Election Fraud

-- *Overseas Press Club Award, '' A Rumor of War''

-- *Sidney Hillman Foundation award, ''A Rumor of War''