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Erik Larson          

Author of "Devil in the White City" & "Dead Wake"

Erik Larson is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, most recently In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, which hit #1 and remained on the printed list for 35 weeks. As a paperback, Beasts lingered on the list for 53 weeks, and spent 15 of them in the #1 spot. The book was published in Britain, France, Italy, Poland, Australia and a dozen other countries. Movie rights were optioned by Universal Studios and Tom Hanks’ Playtone. Erik’s book The Devil in the White City stayed on the Times‘ hardcover and paperback lists for a combined total of over five years. It won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for a National Book Award; the option to make a movie of the book was acquired in November 2010 by Leonardo DiCaprio. Erik’s new book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, is a non-fiction maritime thriller set to launch on March 10, 2015.

Erik’s research has taken him to far-flung locales, and down innumerable strange alleys. For his 2006 bestseller, Thunderstruck, Erik traveled to London, Munich, Rome, Nova Scotia, and Cape Cod, as he sought to chronicle the strange intersection in the careers of Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of wireless, and Hawley Harvey Crippen, England’s second most-famous murderer (after Jack the Ripper). To broaden his understanding of Marconi and his roots, Erik studied Italian; he achieved an elementary grasp of the language while developing an advanced appreciation for Italian red wines.

Erik also wrote Isaac’s Storm, published in September 1999. In addition to becoming an immediate Times bestseller, the book won the American Meteorology Society’s prestigious Louis J. Battan Author’s Award. The Washington Post called it the “‘Jaws’ of hurricane yarns.”

Erik graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Russian history, language and culture. He received a masters in journalism from Columbia University. After a brief stint at the Bucks County Courier Times, Larson became a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, and later a contributing writer for Time Magazine. He has written articles for The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New Yorker, and other publications.


Author Erik Larson dives deep into research for book on Lusitania

Author Erik Larson said there’s no easy way to tackle a subject as big as the sinking of the Lusitania.

Erik Larson on Receiving the Carl Sandburg Literary Award & 'The Devil in the White City' as a Film

“Just to have my name mentioned in the same breath as Sandburg’s is a huge thing,” says Erik Larson, who on October 26 at a dinner produced by the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Chicago Public Library will receive the prestigious Carl Sandburg Literary Award, joining the likes of Vonnegut, Oates, Wolfe, and Rushdie.

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