Erik Larson (author)
- This page is about the non-fiction author. For the comic book writer, see Erik Larsen; for the Disney animator, see Eric Larson.
Larson in 2007
|Born||January 3, 1954|
Brooklyn, New York
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania, |
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Erik Larson (born January 3, 1954) is an American journalist and author of nonfiction books. He has written a number of bestsellers, including 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, among other awards.
Early life and education
Larson was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Freeport, Long Island, New York. 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. He was inspired to go into journalism after seeing the movie All the President's Men.
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, where he is still a contributing writer. His magazine stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and other publications.
Larson has written a number of books, mostly historical nonfiction. In a 2016 interview with the Knoxville Mercury, Larson stated he does all of his own research, asking, "why should I let anybody else have that fun?" He also rejected the idea of trying to imagine or take factual liberties with scenes and conversations from the past, stating that in his work, "anything that appears in quote is something that came from a historical document." He included among his literary inspirations David McCullough, Barbara Tuchman, David Halberstam, and Walter Lord. Larson's 2006 book Thunderstruck intersperses the story of Hawley Harvey Crippen with that of Guglielmo Marconi and the invention of radio.
Teaching and public speaking
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 across the United States.
Larson has lived in Philadelphia; Bristol, Pennsylvania; San Francisco; and Baltimore. He and his wife have three daughters. They reside in New York City and maintain a home in Seattle, Washington.
- The Naked Consumer: How Our Private Lives Become Public Commodities. H. Holt. 1992. ISBN 0805017550.
- Lethal Passage: How the Travels of a Single Handgun Expose the Roots of America's Gun Crisis. Crown Publishers. 1994. ISBN 0517596776.
- Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History. Random House. 1999. ISBN 0-609-60233-0.
- The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. Crown Publishers. 2002. ISBN 0-609-60844-4.
- Thunderstruck. Crown Publishers. 2006. ISBN 9781400080663.
- In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin. Crown Publishers. 2011. ISBN 9780307408846.
- Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. Crown Publishers. 2015. ISBN 9780307408860.
- The Splendid and the Vile. Penguin Random House. 2020. ISBN 9780385348713.
- "Erik Larson: Best-selling Author of In the Garden of Beasts". Erik Larson: The Books. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Erik Larson, 2003 National Book Award Finalist: Nonfiction, The National Book Foundation". NationalBook.org. 2003. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "About The Author - Erik Larson : Best-selling Author of In the Garden of Beasts". ErickLarsonbooks.com. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- Everett, Matthew. "Q&A: Author Erik Larson." Knoxville Mercury, 16 March 2016.
- Baker, Kevin (November 5, 2006). "Thunderstruck. By Erik Larson - Books - Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Erik Larson (author).|
|Library resources |
|By Erik Larson (author)|
- Official website
- Interview at Identity Theory
- Interview on The Devil in the White City, Booknotes, 14 September 2003
- Interview with Larson about In the Garden of the Beasts on NPR's Fresh Air (May 9, 2011)
- Appearances on C-SPAN