LAWRENCE – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Timothy Egan, whose chronicle of the Dust Bowl in “The Worst Hard Time” is the 2013-14 KU Common Book, will visit the Lawrence campus for a pair of public events this week.
Egan will present a keynote at “An Evening with Author Timothy Egan” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Lied Center. He will also participate in a more intimate session as part of Coffee & Conversation featuring Egan at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at The Commons in Spooner Hall.
"I couldn't be more honored to have students of Kansas, where so much of the gritty history of the Dust Bowl took place, taking up ‘The Worst Hard Time,’” says Egan. “It's an American story of tough times and even tougher people – many of whom were the grandparents of KU students. What a thrill for an author.”
No tickets are required for either event. Priority floor seating for “An Evening with Author Timothy Egan” at the Lied Center is available exclusively for KU students. Egan will take questions from the audience following his address at the Lied Center, and he will be available to sign books following the program.
Egan will be introduced at the Lied Center by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “The stories Tim Egan tells — of families’ struggles to eke out a life in a world where clouds of dust made the sun go dark at midday — are heartbreaking,” said Gray-Little. “But more importantly, he encourages our students to think of the event critically, to take into account our shared history and to recognize the reality that our world is interconnected.”
On Friday morning, Egan will participate in Coffee & Conversation, an opportunity for the KU community to engage in an open question-and-answer session.
In addition to “The Worst Hard Time” being selected as the KU Common Book, it was also chosen as the Read Across Lawrence selection by the Lawrence Public Library, thereby making Egan’s visit a shared experience with the greater Lawrence community.
Events related to “The Worst Hard Time” will continue throughout the academic year; please visit the Common Book website for a full listing.
Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of six books, most recently "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis" and “The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America,” a New York Times best-seller and winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Washington State Book Award. His previous books include “The Worst Hard Time,” which won a National Book Award and was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice. He is an online op-ed columnist for the New York Times, writing his "Opinionator" feature once a week. He is a third-generation Westerner and lives in Seattle.