AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS, American writer, born; an American writer, known for his bestselling memoir Running with Scissors (2002), which spawned a feature film of the same name. Burroughs is the son of poet and writer Margaret Robison and the late John G. Robison, head of the philosophy department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His mother sent him to live with her psychiatrist’s family in western Massachusetts.
His books are published by St. Martin’s Press (hardcover) and Picador (trade paperback). Some of his childhood experiences were chronicled in Running with Scissors; the book spurred a June 2005 lawsuit in which the Turcotte family of Cambridge, Mass., whom Burroughs had disguised and renamed the “Finch” family in the book, claimed that various family members — particularly the deceased Dr. Rodolph Turcotte, Burroughs’ former legal guardian — were defamed by the book’s portrayal of the eccentric Finch family. The family recently settled with Sony over the film adaptation, which was written and directed by Ryan Murphy and stars Joseph Cross as Burroughs. In August, 2007, the Turcotte family settled with Burroughs, who emerged victorious, being required only to make trivial word changes in the memoir’s front matter. Burroughs lives in New York City, and Amherst, Mass., with his partner of many years, Dennis Pilsits, and their French bulldogs, Bentley and The Cow.