Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Laurence Gonzales  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri

-- Laurence Gonzales on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Laurence Gonzales is a native of Evanston, Illinois. He has lived in Cook County since 1963.

Biographical and Professional Information

Laurence Gonzales was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in Houston and San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why (W.W. Norton). Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience is the sequel to Deep Survival and is his most recent book. Gonzales has won two National Magazine Awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has appeared as a speaker before groups ranging from the Santa Fe Institute to Legg Mason Capital Management, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His most recent novel is Lucy.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 0151460388

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1979

First book by this Hispanic author about Rock and Roll.

The last deal
ISBN: 0689111991

Atheneum. 1981

El Vago
ISBN: 0689113307

Atheneum. 1983

El Vago, the Vagabond, recalls his life as a bandit, his best friend who became Pancho Villa, the idealism of Zapata, his love for the beautiful Consuelo, and the tragic violence of the Mexican Revolution

Artificial Horizon: Short Stories
ISBN: 0933532520

Bkmk Pr/Umkc. 1986

book of short stories by Laurence Gonzales. This volume includes: 1). The Dragon's Tale ... 2). At the Mansion ... 3). The Three-Million-Year-Old Woman ... 4). Solid State ... 5). Mr. Chips ... 6). Tommy ... 7). Manhunt ... 8). Natural Laws ... 9). Artificial Horizon

The Still Point
ISBN: 1557280819

University of Arkansas Press. 1996

Essays deal with the Indianapolis 500, kite flying, capital punishment, aviation, drug addiction, prison, and David Carradine

One Zero Charlie: Adventures in Grass Roots Aviation
ISBN: 141657641X

Simon & Schuster. 2007

A look at private aviation focuses on Galt Airport in northern Illinois, describing the flying men and women who have made it special. 15,000 first printing.

The Hero's Apprentice
ISBN: 1557283613

Univ of Arkansas Pr. 1994

Book by Gonzales, Laurence

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
ISBN: 0393326152

W. W. Norton & Company. 2004

"Unique among survival books... stunning... enthralling. Deep Survival makes compelling, and chilling, reading."―Penelope Purdy, Denver Post

In ?Deep Survival?, Laurence Gonzalez combines hard science and powerful storytelling to illustrate the mysteries of survival, whether in the wilderness or in meeting any of life's great challenges. This gripping narrative, the first book to describe the art and science of survival, will change the way you see the world. Everyone has a mountain to climb. Everyone has a wilderness inside.

Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things
ISBN: 0393058387

W. W. Norton & Company. 2008

The author of the life-changing bestseller Deep Survival once again brings us revelations about ourselves from the cutting edge of science.

Laurence Gonzales shows how modern society has made us lazy and susceptible to previously unknown threats. "Curiosity, awareness, attention," he writes. "Those are the tools of our everyday survival...we all must be scientists at heart or be victims of forces that we don't understand."Gonzales turns his talent for gripping narrative, knowledge of the way our minds and bodies work, and bottomless curiosity about the world to the topic of how we can best use the lessons of our evolutionary history to overcome the hazards of everyday life. He finds that natural laws profoundly affect our actions, and he reveals the hidden causes and costs of our behavior, whether as individuals or as a species whose decisions may be leading to darker times. Whether you are climbing a mountain or the corporate ladder, Everyday Survival will change the way you view your choices in our complex, dangerous, and quickly changing world. 6 illustrations

ISBN: 0307272605

Knopf. 2010

Laurence Gonzales’s electrifying adventure opens in the jungles of the Congo. Jenny Lowe, a primatologist studying chimpanzees—the bonobos—is running for her life.

A civil war has exploded and Jenny is trapped in its crosshairs . . . She runs to the camp of a fellow primatologist.

The rebels have already been there.

Everyone is dead except a young girl, the daughter of Jenny’s brutally murdered fellow scientist—and competitor.

Jenny and the child flee, Jenny grabbing the notebooks of the primatologist who’s been killed. She brings the girl to Chicago to await the discovery of her relatives. The girl is fifteen and lovely—her name is Lucy.

Realizing that the child has no living relatives, Jenny begins to care for her as her own. When she reads the notebooks written by Lucy’s father, she discovers that the adorable, lovely, magical Lucy is the result of an experiment.

She is part human, part ape—a hybrid human being . . .

Laurence Gonzales’s novel grabs you from its opening pages and you stay with it, mesmerized by the shy but fierce, wonderfully winning Lucy.

Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience
ISBN: 0393083187

W. W. Norton & Company. 2012

You have survived the crisis―trauma, disease, accident, or war―now how do you get your life back?

The shark attacked while she was snorkeling, tearing through Micki Glenn’s breast and shredding her right arm. Her husband, a surgeon, saved her life on the spot, but when she was safely home she couldn’t just go on with her life. She had entered an even more profound survival journey: the aftermath.

The survival experience changes everything because it invalidates all your previous adaptations, and the old rules don’t apply. In some cases survivors suffer more in the aftermath than they did during the actual crisis. In all cases, they have to work hard to reinvent themselves. Drawing on gripping cases across a wide range of life-threatening experiences, Laurence Gonzales fashions a compelling argument about fear, courage, and the adaptability of the human spirit. Micki Glenn was later moved to say: “I don’t regret that this happened to me. [It] has been . . . probably the single most positive experience I’ve ever had.”


  • The Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting on the Watergate scandal
  • The Carl Sandburg Award for ''The Still Point''
  • Chicago Book of the Year for ''One Zero Charlie''
  • Named one of The Chicago Tribune's Chicagoans of the Year in the arts
  • Gold and Bronze Awards in the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition
  • National Magazine Award winner from the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2001 and 2002 for ''The Land of the Lost'' and ''The Rules of Adventure'', both pieces for National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
  • Emmy Award with the team of writers for the HBO series ''From the Earth to the Moon'' Producer, Tom Hanks

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Contact author