Quinn’s writing life, spanning more than 50 years, has been an inspiration to aspiring writers everywhere. Before beginning work on the book that would ultimately make him famous, he wrote advertising copy, scripts for audio and filmstrip productions, math and science textbooks, encyclopedia articles, short stories, and children’s books.

Focus and success came late. He was 56 when he won the half-million-dollar Turner Tomorrow Fellowship for his novel Ishmael, a book which itself has had an extraordinary career. Originally thought to have little future, it slowly gained popularity among readers after its publication in 1992, finding its way into four editions, dozens of printings, twenty-some languages, and hundreds of classrooms all over North America, from mid-school to graduate school, where it continues to be used in courses as varied as history, geography, biology, economics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, religion, and literature.

Ishmael was followed by The Story of B, My Ishmael, Providence and others. Quinn was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, studied at St. Louis University, the University of Vienna, and was a graduate of Loyola of Chicago.

After more than two decades in Chicago, one in New Mexico, and one in Austin, Texas, he and his wife, Rennie, lived in Houston for twenty years until his death in 2018.

BC Reading Group Guide Part 1: About Beyond Civilization
BC Reading Group Guide Part 2: Questions For Discussion
BC Reading Group Guide Part 3: About Daniel Quinn