FREDERICK TURNER was born in Chicago in 1937, the son of a lawyer and an artist/interior decorator. Though he has been gone from the city for more than half a century, the place put its stamp on him emotionally and esthetically and figures prominently in two of his novels, including his latest, The Go-Between: A Novel of the Kennedy Years (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010).

An indifferent student at best, he was schooled in the city and eventually graduated from Denison University with a B.A. in English. He got an M.A. in English from Ohio State and then a Ph.D. in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. Between 1963-1979 he taught in the English departments of various colleges and universities, got married (twice), had four children and one step-child, and gradually came to realize that he had said everything he was ever meant to say from the lectern---a realization that had doubtless come to his students well before.
His career as a writer began in a fashion entirely typical of someone who enters the academic swim: writing harmless essays on very small subjects for journals like The Kent State Library QuarterlyNovel, and The Centennial Review. The only thing that was in any way atypical was the range of his interests, which was a bit like the Platte River--- a mile wide and an inch deep. So, in 1970 his longish essay on the Chiricahua war shaman, Geronimo, appeared in the fashionably radical Evergreen Review. This led to an altered perception of himself as a writer and not an academician. Subsequently, his essays on topics as various as Indians, exploration, the American west, jazz, Paris, and food and wine began to appear in such places as American Heritage, Smithsonian, The Nation, Wilderness, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The International Herald Tribune, Blair and Ketchum's Country Journal, The Massachusetts Review, Southern Review, Men's Journal, Tin House, and Outside.

His books include:
Beyond Geography: The Western Spirit Against the Wilderness
Remembering Song: Encounters with the New Orleans Jazz  Tradition
Rediscovering America: John Muir in His Time and Ours 
Spirit of Place: The Making of an American Literary Landscape
Of Chiles, Cacti, and Fighting Cocks: Notes on the American West, "two expanded editions"
A Border of Blue: Along the Gulf of Mexico from the Keys to the Yucatan
When the Boys Came Back: Baseball and 1946
1929: A Novel of the Jazz Age
In the Land of Temple Caves: Notes on Art and the Human Spirit 
Redemption, A Novel
The Go-Between: A Novel of the Kennedy Years

Editor of:
Geronimo, His Own Story
The Viking Portable North American Indian Reader
Into the Heart of Life: Henry Miller at One Hundred 
Forthcoming, November 2011:
Renegade: Henry Miller and the Making of 'Tropic of Cancer'(Yale University Press)

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1976.
Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1981.
Regents' Writer-in-Residence, University of California, San Diego, 1983.
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Denison University, 1986