I enjoy the fact that Zindel didn't focus on writing in school. Instead, he majored in chemistry, and actually taught high school for ten years. Perhaps another reason he was able to translate the life of teens so easily to the printed page? Zindel went on to write several more plays, and even won the Pulitzer for one called The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. In 1968, wrote his first book for young adults, The Pigman. (I've always enjoyed the absurdity of his titles. How can you beat My Darling, My Hamburger? Or Pardon Me, You're Stepping on My Eyeball!?)
Mr. Zindel passed away in 2003, but his legacy goes on in his writing. There is also an excellent website dedicated to him. He once said, "I write for the people who don't like to read, as a rule." It's a good thing rules are made to be broken, Mr. Zindel, because readers and non-readers alike needed your books. Well done, and happy birthday!
"Paul Zindel." Authors and Artists for Young Adults. Vol. 37. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 15 May 2012.