Peter Leroy explores his earliest memories, which involve Dudley Beaker, a next-door neighbor with a shady occupation; Eliza Foote, a shapely blonde (a product of his imagination); six kittens and one red wagon; and his mother's tumble from her lawn chair.
Eric Kraft grew up in Babylon, New York, on the South Shore of Long Island, where he was for a time co-owner and co-captain of a clam boat, which sank. He met or invented the character Peter Leroy while dozing over a German lesson during his first year at Harvard. The following year, he married his muse, Madeline Canning; they have two sons. After earning a Master’s Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Kraft taught school in the Boston area for a while, moonlighting as a rock music critic for the Boston Phoenix. Since then, he has undertaken a variety of hackwork to support the Kraft ménage and the writing of the voluminous work of fiction that he calls The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy. He has been the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; was, briefly, chairman of PEN New England; and has been awarded the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature.