BORN: January 17, 1925, Leominster, Massachusetts
DIED: November 2, 2000, Boston, Massachusetts
IDENTIFICATION: Late twentieth-century journalist and novelist, best known for his realistic novels for young-adult readers.
Robert Cormier's writing is distinguished for its uncompromising portrayal of adolescents facing physical, psychological, and moral challenges in a threatening world. His young protagonists are frequently the victims of hypocritical or ineffectual adults, corrupt authority figures, manipulative peers, and flawed heroes. They usually find themselves alone in their struggle to survive and to remain untainted by their world. Cormier's work is controversial in its fearless use of strong language, its candid approach to violence and sexuality and its unflinching explorations of death, illness, crime, sexual intimacy, and similarly serious topics.