Luther College Writers Festival

The Luther College Writers Festival celebrates the rich diversity of contemporary imaginative writing, fosters conversation among readers and writers, and explores the ways in which highly crafted literature plumbs the human condition and illuminates readers' spiritual and moral imagination.

Keynote Speaker: Erik Larson

Erik Larson
Erik Larson

Erik Larson, award-winning Author of Devil in the White City, In the Garden of Beasts, and Dead Wake: The last Crossing of the Lusitania will be the featured keynote speaker at the Luther College Writers Festival, September 23-24, 2016.

Erik Larson is a master of narrative non-fiction. His vividly written, bestselling 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. Dead Wake is a New York Times #1 bestseller. His book, In the Garden of Beast: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, is a vivid portrait of the American ambassador and his family 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 the stories of the Chicago 1893 World's Fair and one of America's worst serial killers. It remained on the New York Times bestseller list for a combined total of over three years, won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing, and was nominated for the National Book Award.

Erik Larson graduated summa cum laude from 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.