Author of ‘Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania’ brings history to life at 30th annual fundraising gala
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (July 1, 2016) – From maritime disasters to a homicidal doctor, a killer storm to Victorian serial killers, Erik Larson specializes in adrenaline-fueled historical narratives. This author of five New York Times bestselling novels, including “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin,” “Devil in the White City,” and most recently, “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania,” will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at the Huntsville Library Foundation’s 30th annual Vive le Livre gala on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
“This year marks an amazing milestone in the history of the Huntsville Library Foundation,” said Foundation Chair Christina Tabereaux. “We have raised over $1.4 million dollars over the last 30 years to support programs and initiatives at Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, and we are excited to celebrate this achievement by bringing an amazing author like Mr. Larson to our amazing community of library supporters.”
Not only has Erik Larson mastered the art of compelling storytelling, he also challenges your preconceived notions of what a typical historian looks and acts like. Mix equal parts of investigative journalist, experienced and inquisitive traveller, expert researcher, family man, animal lover, and wine enthusiast, then add a generous portion of dry humor, and you might come close to creating a historian similar to Larson. This detective of history challenges misconceptions and inaccuracies in a style that seems more like fiction novels than academic research.
“Mr. Larson turns the already heavily chronicled destruction of the Lusitania into a sort of geopolitical thriller, one that reads like a brainy mash-up of James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws,’ with the invisible menace of the submarine spreading panic among seafarers like a rogue great white shark,” said Alexandra Alter of the New York Times, when describing “Dead Wake.”
Vive le Livre will be held at the Jackson Center, 6001 Moquin Drive, in Cummings Research Park. The evening will begin with an author reception at 6 p.m. followed by a seated dinner at 7 and the speaker at 8. Tickets start at $125 per person, and all proceeds benefit the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit HuntsvilleLibraryFoundation.org. Reservations are required by Nov. 10.
The Foundation’s annual Vive le Livre (“Long live the book”) gala has featured such literary celebrities as Dave Barry, Garrison Keillor, Ann Patchett, Rick Bragg, Joshilyn Jackson, and Winston Groom. Erik Larson joins them in the long list of acclaimed authors to come to Huntsville in support of the Library.
Born in 1954, Larson grew up in Freeport, Long Island in New York City. He attended the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Russian history, language, and culture, and he later received a masters in journalism from Columbia University. Larson started at the Bucks County Courier Times and later became a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, and later a contributing writer for Time Magazine. He has also written for The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New Yorker, and other publications.
In 2010, Leonardo DiCaprio bought the option to adapt the book “Devil in the White City” into a movie. Martin Scorsese agreed in Aug. 2015 to direct the movie for Paramount Studios and Billy Ray will write the screenplay.
Larson lives in New York City with his wife and three daughters.
About the Huntsville Library Foundation
Founded in 1986, the Huntsville Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to advocate for the library and to acquire resources that enhance the value to the community. This team of dedicated individuals works year-round to raise funds for the 12 branches of HMCPL to better server Madison County. The Foundation believes that a great library helps make a great community. For more information about the Foundation, please visit HuntsvilleLibraryFoundation.org.
About Huntsville-Madison County Public Library
This is the public’s library. Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) is a nonprofit 12-branch system that serves all of Madison County, Ala. For nearly 200 years, the library has been dedicated to enriching the educational, recreational and cultural lives of communities in Madison County through materials, information and programs that foster a lifelong love of learning. In addition to the collection of over 500,000 items, HMCPL also provides outreach services, a BookMobile and Book Bike, online services, training, an extensive digital collection, public-use computers, free Wi-fi, meeting spaces and much more. For more information about HMCPL and its services, please visit www.hmcpl.org.