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Erik Larson

Award-winning author of Dead WakeThe Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts

Erik Larson

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Benschneider

Erik Larson is a master of narrative nonfiction. His vividly written, best-selling books have won several awards and been published worldwide. His most recent book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, is about the 1915 sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania. His book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, is the portrait of an American ambassador and his family in Berlin during the first years of Hitler’s reign from which Larson has crafted a gripping, deeply-intimate narrative. His critically-acclaimed book, The Devil in the White City, intertwines stories of the Chicago 1893 World’s Fair and one of America’s worst serial killers. It remained on the New York Times best seller lists for a combined total of more than three years, won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was nominated for the National Book Award.

In his 2006 best seller, Thunderstruck, Larson chronicles 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). His book, Isaac’s Storm, recounts the devastating Galveston hurricane of 1900 and the birth of modern American meteorology, became an immediate New York Times best seller and won the American Meteorology Society’s prestigious Louis J. Battan Author’s Award. The Washington Post called it the “Jaws of hurricane yarns.” Among his other books are Lethal Passage about the 1988 school shooting in Virginia and America’s gun culture and The Naked Consumer, which examines the ever-increasing amount of private information consumers lose to corporations and other business interests.

Erik Larson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Russian history, language and culture. He also received a master’s degree 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. He has taught nonfiction writing at San Francisco State, the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and the University of Oregon.

Larson lives in Seattle with his wife and three daughters.