Erik Larson has an uncanny ability to find riveting stories lurking in rarely-explored corners of American history. From the devastating hurricane he recounted in Isaac’s Storm to the exploits of a monstrous serial killer in Devil in the White City, Erik Larson is proving that a book doesn’t have to be fictional to be wildly entertaining.
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Date of Birth:
January 1, 1954
Place of Birth:
Brooklyn, New York
B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; M.S., Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 1978
Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime, 2004 for The Devil in the White City
|A Writer and His Research|
|"I always work alone. No researchers, no assistants," Larson confided in an interview with his publisher about The Devil in the White City. "I need first-hand contact with my sources -- for example, I found it infinitely valuable to be able to touch the original postcards on which Patrick Prendergast revealed his insane delusion, one that would bring the fair to such a tragic end. The obvious pressure he placed on his pencil as he wrote brought his part of the story vividly to life. I love a good archive."|
|The Best Book to Read First||From Our Interview|
|Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History|
A groundbreaking retelling of one of America's greatest natural disasters, Isaac's Storm brought the devastating Galveston hurricane of 1900 to a present-day audience. "A gripping account, horridly fascinating to its core, and all the more compelling for being true," said The New York Times.
|The Maltese Falcon|
In our exclusive interview with Larson, he told us about some of his all-time favorite books, including Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, which he said he loves "for the sheer power and simplicity of Hammett's prose." Read our interview to learn more about Larson's best-loved reads, including: