Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder

Past Event: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

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In 1981, Kidder gained critical attention with publication of The Soul of a New Machine, a book celebrated for its insight into corporate, high tech America, which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for Non-fiction in 1982.

Kidder’s most recent book, Strength in What Remains (2009), received the Christopher Award, Books for a Better Life Award, and was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and the Indies Choice Book Award. His 2003 book, Mountains Beyond Mountains gained attention for its focus on Paul Farmer, the American physician who pioneered effective health care delivery to the poor in Haiti and throughout the world. Other works include House (1985) and Old Friends (1993).

Born in New York City in 1945, Tracy Kidder spent his childhood in Oyster Bay, Long Island where his father was a lawyer and his mother was a teacher. Kidder graduated from Phillips Academy in 1962, and went on to attend Harvard, graduating with a B.A. in English in 1967. He served as a first lieutenant in Vietnam, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star. His early writing took the form of essays and short stories about the Vietnam War, including “The Death of Major Great” (1974), “Soldiers of Misfortune” (1978), and “In Quarantine” (1980), which was called “the finest reporting to come out of Vietnam.” Following the war, Kidder obtained his M.F.A. in 1974 from the University of Iowa, where he participated in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. It was there that Kidder met Atlantic Monthly contributing editor Dan Wakefield, who helped him get his first assignment for the magazine as a freelance writer. Kidder’s articles have covered a broad array of topics, ranging from railroads to energy, architecture, and the environment; they have appeared in The New YorkerGrantaThe New York Times Book Review and on The New York Times OpEd page. He lives in western Massachusetts and Maine.

Selected Work
Strength in What Remains (2009)
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World (2003)
House (1999)
Among Schoolchildren (1990)
The Soul of a New Machine (1981)

Review of Strength in What Remains (New York Times, August 2009)
Behind The Best Sellers: Tracy Kidder (New York Times, November 1981)
On Main Street With Tracy Kidder; A Dot on a Map Connected By People (New York Times, April 1999)
The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer: Tracy Kidder Tells of an American Doctor’s Life, Mission in Haiti (NPR, October 2003)

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the largest event space at Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

By Car

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5 via Westbound I-90
    Take the 2C exit for I-5 North. Follow signs for Madison Street/Convention Place and merge right onto Seventh Avenue. Turn left onto Madison Street. Proceed three blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue four blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Public Transit (Bus & Light Rail)
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.


Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. This option is present at every event at Benaroya Hall in our 2019/20 Season.

Assisted Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). Benaroya Hall has an infrared hearing system, which transmits sound by light beams. Headsets are available in The Boeing Company Gallery coat check and the Head Usher stations in both lobbies.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at or 206.621.2230×10. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in all sections at our venues, and our venues are fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. Guide and service dogs are also welcome. Among other features, Benaroya Hall has designated parking spaces adjacent to elevators in their parking garage. Elevators with Braille signage go to all levels within the Hall. A unisex restroom is also available. For more details on their accessibility features, click here.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services at our venues, 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-Thursday from 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Fridays from 10:00am – 1:00pm, at 206.621.2230×10.