Bill Bryson: Online

Catherine Williams

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Literary Arts

Bill Bryson: Online

Past Event: Sunday, February 21, 2021


Coming from Des Moines, Iowa – because, as he notes, “somebody had to” – bestselling Anglo-American author Bill Bryson has transformed narrative non-fiction for a generation with his witty, laugh-aloud-funny, observational writing. He has explored far-flung places from the Australian outback to the beginning of the universe itself. This time, in his latest book, The Body: A Guide for Occupants (2019), he turns his attention inwards to explore the human body. This event will be held online and will be prerecorded.

Although this event has passed, you can still purchase a digital pass through February 28 at 7:30 p.m.

This event is online-only and will be pre-recoded due to timezone differences.

Among today’s most prolific and best-selling nonfiction authors, Bryson has written more than twenty books about language, science, history, and his adventures traveling the globe. “Fueled by his insatiable curiosity,” writes Blinkest, “Bryson’s books are a testament to his love for knowledge and his ability to distill even the most complex topics into simple explanations anyone can understand.”

Bryson shot to prominence in the United Kingdom with Notes from a Small Island (1995), a humorous travel book that takes readers on an exploration of Great Britain, which was later adapted for television and, in a national poll, voted as the best book to represent the small island. He received further widespread recognition from A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003), which won the Aventis Prize and the Descartes Prize, and was the biggest selling nonfiction book of its decade in the United Kingdom.

Bryson has established himself as one of the world’s most beloved and prolific commentators by finding delight in the minutiae of travel and the subtleties of culture. He has chronicled everything from hiking the Appalachian Trail in the immensely popular A Walk in the Woods, later adapted into a major motion picture in 2015, to capturing the zeitgeist of the Roaring Twenties in One Summer: America 1927.

His latest, The Body: A Guide for Occupants, has been hailed by the Washington Post as one of 2020’s most notable works of nonfiction. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories, The Body is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make-up.


Event Details

Know Before You Go

Need access to the digital event?

Most tickets have been emailed for Bryson’s event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

Your e-tickets, which come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email as well, will contain your digital access password. Return to the event page the night of the event at and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. (PST) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

SAL will also send an email the day of the event, containing the same information. If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at and we will assist you.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Bill Bryson something? Send your question to SAL’s Associate Director at—it might be asked during the event!


Our partner bookstore Elliot Bay Book Company will have copies of Bryson’s work available for purchase online.


Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals at online events. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at or 206.621.2230×10, or select Sign Language Interpretation from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will reach out to you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services for online events, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at, or Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 206.621.2230×10. For more accessibility information, please head to


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