After graduating from West Babylon High School in 1961, Eric Kraft was, briefly, co-owner and co-captain of a clam boat. It sank. He went on to Harvard. After Harvard, he taught school in the Boston area, moonlighting as a rock music critic for the Boston Phoenix, and then worked as a book editor. In 1975, he and his wife, Madeline, established a company to develop textbooks for publishers throughout the United States. That work eventually led to Kraft’s producing the Clifford the Big Red Dog website for PBS and editing the Just Neighbors program for Family Promise, an organization that helps homeless and low-income families.
In 1982, Kraft began creating a large work of fiction called The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy, which has become his life’s work. It appears to be the memoirs of a fictional character called Peter Leroy, who grew up in the town of Babbington, on the South Shore of Long Island. Over the course of ten books (so far) Peter has told an alternative version of his life story; explored the effect of imagination on perception, memory, hope, and fear; held a fun-house mirror to scenes of life in Babbington (and beyond); and pondered the nature of the universe and human consciousness. The San Francisco Chronicle has called the Personal History “the most ambitious and rewarding literary enterprise of our time.” Newsweek called it “the literary equivalent of Fred Astaire dancing: great art that looks like fun.” Kraft has held a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. Eric and Madeline currently live in New Rochelle. They have two sons, Scott, a marketing executive, and Alexis, an architect and teacher. Their granddaughter, Carson, is a student.