Peter Guralnick is an American music critic, writer on music, and historian of US American popular music, who is also active as an author and screenwriter.
Guralnick's first two books, Almost Grown and Mister Downchild, were short story collections published by Larry Stark, whose small press in Cambridge, Larry Stark Press, was devoted to stories and poems. Mona Dickson, writing in MIT's The Tech gave Almost Grown a favorable review.
After Guralnick graduated from Boston University in 1971 with a master's degree in creative writing, he began writing books chronicling the history of blues, country, rock and roll and soul.
His two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis in 1994, followed by Careless Love in 1999, placed the story of Presley's career into a rise and fall arc. Encompassing more than 1,300 pages, the work countered earlier biographies such as Albert Goldman's Elvis from 1981 with an in-depth, scholarly examination of Presley's life and music. Guralnick had previously written on Presley in the The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, starting with the first edition in 1976, said article having been reprinted for each subsequent edition. He also contributed the complete text for the 240-page hardcover book featured in the 2010 30-disc CD boxed set, The Complete Elvis Presley Masters.