Epilogue: Final Notes
on Six Prodigies
IT IS NOW more than a decade since my study of prodigies began, and a great deal has happened in the lives of the children and their families. The oldest subject in the study is now approaching twenty, two others are nearly out of high school, and two others have just entered their teens. Only one is still below the age of ten, the upper age limit for my subjects when I began this research. I make no claim that what I have seen of these children captures what is most significant in each of their lives. As fascinating as each of the six cases is, my purpose was not to comprehend their lives as a whole, as was the aim of my teacher Robert White. 1 It was, rather, to see what could be learned about developmental processes from studying extraordinary talent.
Yet there is a natural curiosity about what has become of these children so far. What of the early promise that burst upon the scene? Have the guesses that I made about them been supported by their choices and decisions over the years?