New York City
“If YA literature is to be worthwhile, to benecessary, it must go beyond to expose more questions (young people often need the right questions more than answers) about relationships between girls and boys, about the possibility of relationships that don't put sexual pressure on boys and girls, about ways of diffusing the terrible pressures of 'scoring' for boys, of losing or keeping virginity for girls, honest ways of looking at sex, through characters we can identify with and who entertain us, and perhaps coming to the radical conclusion that sex is at once less important than the deodorant makers would have us believe, yet more intrinsic a part of our lives than books up to now have told us,” Robert Lipsyte stated inLiterature for Today's Young Adults.
Lipsyte, the son of a school principal and a teacher, said inBooks I Read When I Was Young thatThe Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger was one of the books that made a difference in his life. “I read this book when I was fourteen. It was a portable support group. Here was a character, intelligent, sensitive, real, who was crazier than I was. But only by degree. And he was speaking directly to me.”
He graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in 1957 and earned a master's two years later. From 1957 to 1959, he worked atThe New York Times as a copyboy. After a stint in the U.S. Army in 1961, he gained a wide audience as a sportswriter from 1967