Erik Larson (author)

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This page is about the non-fiction author. For the comic book writer, see Erik Larsen; for the Disney animator, see Eric Larson.
Erik Larson (2007)

Erik Larson (born January 3, 1954) is an American journalist and nonfiction author. His books include The Devil in the White City (2003), a history of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and serial killer H. H. Holmes, and In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin (2011), a portrayal of William E. Dodd, the first American ambassador to Nazi Germany, and his daughter Martha.

Early life[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, Larson grew up in Freeport, Long Island, New York.[1]

He studied Russian history at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude in 1976. After a year off, he attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, graduating in 1978.[1][2]

Career[edit]

Journalism[edit]

Larson's first newspaper job was with The Bucks County Courier Times in Levittown, Pennsylvania, where he wrote about murder, witches, environmental poisons, and other "equally pleasant" things. He later became a features writer for The Wall Street Journal and TIME magazine, where he is still a contributing writer. His magazine stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and other publications.[citation needed]

Books[edit]

Larson has also written a number of books, beginning with The Naked Consumer: How Our Private Lives Become Public Commodities (1992), followed by Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun (1995).[2] Larson's next books were Isaac's Storm (1999), about the experiences of Isaac Cline during the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, and The Devil in the White City (2003), about the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and a series of murders by H. H. Holmes that were committed in the city around the time of the Fair. The Devil in the White City won the 2004 Edgar Award in the Best Fact Crime category.[citation needed] Next, Larson published Thunderstruck (2006), which intersperses the story of Hawley Harvey Crippen with that of Guglielmo Marconi and the invention of radio. His next book, In the Garden of Beasts (2011), concerns William E. Dodd, the first American ambassador to Nazi Germany and his daughter.[3]

Teaching and public speaking[edit]

Larson has taught non-fiction writing at San Francisco State University, the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and the University of Oregon, and he has spoken to audiences from coast to coast.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Larson and his wife have three daughters. They reside in New York City, but maintain a home in Seattle, Washington.[2]

He has lived in Philadelphia, Bristol, San Francisco, and Baltimore.[citation needed]

Books by Larson[edit]

Erik Larson talks about In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin on Bookbits radio.

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erik Larson, 2003 National Book Award Finalist: Nonfiction, The National Book Foundation. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c About The Author, Erik Larson : Best-selling Author of In the Garden of Beasts. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  3. ^ "Erik Larson: Best-selling Author of In the Garden of Beasts". Erik Larson: The Books. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ Larson, Erik (1992). The Naked Consumer: How Our Private Lives Become Public Commodities (1st ed.). H. Holt. ISBN 0805017550. 
  5. ^ Larson, Erik (1994). Lethal Passage: How the Travels of a Single Handgun Expose the Roots of America's Gun Crisis (1st ed.). New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0517596776. 
  6. ^ Larson, Erik (1999). Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (1st ed.). Random House Publishing. ISBN 0-609-60233-0. 
  7. ^ Larson, Erik (2006). Thunderstruck (1st ed.). New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 9781400080663. 
  8. ^ Larson, Erik (March 10, 2015). Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. Crown. ISBN 9780307408860.