Since the publication in 2002 of his first story collection, The Shell Collector, Anthony Doerr has been lauded for his lyricism, his precise attention to the physical world and his gift for metaphor. Tamara Straus, a reviewer for The San Francisco Chronicle, characterized Doerr’s literary ancestry as a combination of “Henry David Thoreau (for his pantheistic passions) and Gabriel García Márquez (for his crystal-cut prose and dreamy magic realism).”
The title of Mr. Doerr’s talk will be “The Beautiful Art of Failure.”
There will not be a book signing for this event. However, Doerr’s books will be for sale in the lobby.
In Doerr’s most recent novel, All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the 2015 Pultizer Prize and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, finalist for the 2014 National Book Award and a New York Times bestseller, the celebrated prose stylist brings his keen naturalist’s eye and his empathetic engagement with humanity’s largest questions to the parallel stories of Marie, a blind girl living in occupied France, and Werner, a German orphan whose extraordinary mechanical abilities earn him a place among the Nazi elite.
Nature is also an important theme in Doerr’s novel About Grace, the story of a scientist who flees the country after having a premonition that he causes the accidental death of his baby daughter.
Doerr’s memoir Four Seasons in Rome is a carefully observed account of the year he spent as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome, accompanied by his wife and infant twin sons.
His second story collection, Memory Wall, features characters from all over the world who are grappling with issues of preservation and extinction, permanence and evanescence.
All The Light We Cannot See was on over a dozen year-end lists, including Barnes & Noble, Slate.com, NPR’s Fresh Air, Entertainment Weekly, the Guardian, Kirkus, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor. Doerr’s fiction has been translated into over thirty languages, and is anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He was notified that he won the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters on the day his wife gave birth to newborn twins. He has won the Story Prize, which is considered the most prestigious prize in the U.S. for a collection of short stories, and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which is the largest prize in the world for a single short story. In 2007, the British literary magazine Granta placed Doerr on its list of 21 Best Young American novelists.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he now lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and two sons.
All the Light We Cannot See (2014) — 2015 Pulitzer Prize, Finalist for the National Book Award, 2015 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, NYTimes Bestseller
Memory Wall (2010) — winner of Pacific Northwest Book Award and a NYTimes Notable Book
Four Seasons in Rome (2007)
About Grace (2004)
The Shell Collector (2002)
Anthony Doerr’s homepage
Anthony Doerr on All the Light We Cannot See
Goodreads Interview with Anthony Doerr
Fiction Writers Review: Prayer, Inquiry, Memory: An Interview with Anthony Doerr
The Washington Post: Review: ‘All the Light We Cannot See,’ by Anthony Doerr