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Creighton’s 2017 Horning Lecture welcomes master of narrative nonfiction, Erik Larson

Photo by Bill Hayes: Author Erik LarsonFrom tales of a serial killer haunting the late 19th century streets of Chicago to the harrowing ordeal of the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania, to an American ambassador’s witness to the rise of Nazi Germany, Erik Larson’s books have illuminated history and brought old events to new light.

Now, The Department of History at Creighton University welcomes the world-renowned author and master of narrative nonfiction to present the 2017 Ross Horning Lecture. The event will take place on Thursday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hixson-Lied Auditorium of the Harper Center, 602 N. 20th St., on the Creighton campus. A book signing will follow the talk.

Larson’s lecture, titled “Why I Like to Drown My Readers,” will explore how the author’s ability to put readers “as vividly, and accurately, as possible into the heart of a historical disaster can open a fresh window on the way past lives were really lived.”

Larson is the author, most recently, of Dead Wake, a New York Times No. 1 bestseller about the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania. His 2003 work, The Devil in the White City, told the parallel tales of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and one of the nation’s first serial killers, H.H. Holmes. The book was a finalist for the National Book Award and earned the Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing.

Another Larson work, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin is a portrait of American Ambassador William Dodd and his family as the Nazis come to power between 1933 and 1937.

Isaac’s Storm, Larson’s book detailing the 1900 hurricane that slammed into Galveston, Texas, and gave rise to modern American meteorology, won the American Meteorological Society’s Louis J. Battan Author’s Award and was a New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of Thunderstruck, a work looking at the intersecting careers of wireless radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi and Hawley Harvey Crippen, a notorious English murderer.

Larson has been a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and a contributing writer for Time magazine. He has also written for The Atlantic, Harper’s and The New Yorker.

The Horning Lecture is named for Ross Horning, a professor of history at Creighton from 1964 until his death in 2005. The lecture is meant to reflect the many dimensions of his life, including his love for history, the arts, and the community.

The Ross Horning Lecture is free and open to the public, though the University requests registration. Click here to register.

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