updated 12/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
By year's end Kindergarten had sold more than 1 million hardcover copies, had ranked as the No. 1 nonfiction best-seller for 30 weeks and had hit the top of the paperback sales chart as well. This fall, with the release of his second book, It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It, Fulghum became the first author ever to capture simultaneously the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the hardcover best-seller list.
A 52-year-old ex-bartender, Fulghum began writing his sermonettes during a 1966-85 stint as a Unitarian minister. Translated from church mouse to literary lion, he still lives on a Seattle houseboat with wife Lynn, an M.D., but now has six lawyers and a staff of five and talks of building a house in Utah. Why has the public flipped for his flapdoodle? The author shrugs: "I think we're all tired of complexity."