Peter Soyer Beagle was born in 1939 in the Bronx. He is arguably America's greatest living fantasist and has written novels, nonfiction, poetry, opera librettos, songs, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. As a child he was a voracious reader and appeared regularly on a New York City radio program in which young people presented book reviews. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place, when he was still only 19 years old and a student at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation he spent most of a year in France and Italy, then returned to America when he was invited to participate in a special seminar program for young writers at Stanford University. Two other participants in the program were Larry McMurtry and Ken Kesey.
Today, Beagle is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time. At least two of his other books A Fine and Private Place and I See By My Outfit are considered modern classics.
He wrote the teleplay for episode 71 of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, titled "Sarek." He also wrote the screenplay for the 1978 Ralph Bakshi-animated version of The Lord Of The Rings, the film which first inspired a teen-aged Peter Jackson to read J.R.R. Tolkien's original trilogy.
His work as a screenwriter interrupted his early career direction as a novelist and short-story writer. But in the mid-90s he returned to prose fiction of all lengths, and has produced new works at a steady pace since.
In 2005 he finally published a coda to The Last Unicorn, a novelette entitled "Two Hearts," and began work on a full-novel sequel.
Peter S. Beagle now lives in Oakland, California.