Zindel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS, brought him to the attention of Charlotte Zolotow, an editor who encouraged him to write young adult novels. His first work for young adults, THE PIGMAN, appeared in 1968. Zindel is often credited with changing the face of young adult literature, creating more realistic works that reflect such themes as loneliness, eccentricity, and sexuality.
From the Publisher
High school sophomores John Conlon and Lorraine Jensen, both unhappy at home, spend their free time playing pranks on strangers. When one of their schemes brings them in contact with the elderly Mr. Pignati, who calls himself "the Pigman," the pair befriends the lonely man. Although the friendship enriches all of their lives, John and Lorraine ultimately betray Mr. Pignati and are left to deal with the tragic results of their actions. This story is told in alternating chapters by John and Lorraine.