From the Blog

  • A Stairway to Heaven, and Back

    November 5, 2015

      Whenever I publish a book, I invariably find that it ends up accompanied to market by a memoir written by an author who claims to have gone to heaven and returned. These books are very popular, so much so that there is now a name for the genre: “heaven tourism.” At one point last […]

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About the Author

Erik Larson is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, most recently Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, which hit #1 on the Times list soon after launch. His previous book was In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, which also 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. 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. In August, 2015, DiCaprio formed a new alliance to make the film, in which Martin Scorsese will direct, and Billy Ray will write the screenplay; Paramount will be the backing studio.

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.

Larson lives in Seattle with his wife and three daughters. Numerous beloved rodents are buried in his back yard.

Not enough? You may want to read an alternative and possibly more realistic biography of Erik, or visit his office.

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