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'Lusitania' Author Erik Larson Makes Only Connecticut Appearance In Wilton

The Wilton Library is hosting New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson April 21.
The Wilton Library is hosting New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson April 21. Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. – The Wilton Library is hosting New York Times-bestselling author Erik Larson, author of “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania,” Tuesday, April 21, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Larson is known for expertly transporting readers to past worlds. With his new work of nonfiction, “Dead Wake,” he ushers readers aboard the Lusitania as it begins its tragic and final crossing. It is a timely trip, as 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

Setting sail on May 1, 1915, from New York, the Lusitania was a monument to the hubris and ingenuity of the age. It was immense and luxurious, the fastest civilian ship then in service, and carried a full roster of passengers, including a record number of infants and children. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though that morning a German notice had appeared in the city's newspapers warning that travelers sailing on British ships “do so at their own risk.”

“Dead Wake” switches between hunter and hunted, allowing readers to experience the crossing, and the disaster itself, in real time.

Along the way, Larson paints a portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era, and brings to life a rich cast of characters, including President Woodrow Wilson, famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat, Captain William Thomas Turner and Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, whose ultra-secret spy group failed to convey crucial naval intelligence that might have saved the Lusitania and its passengers.

The purchase of the book, “Dead Wake,” is entry to the event. The price is $30 and includes two seats at the event and one hardcover copy of the book, plus the Brown Paper Ticket fee. A portion of the book sales will benefit Wilton Library.

All ticket purchases are nonrefundable. Books will be distributed at check-in beginning at 6 p.m. the night of the event. Contact Karen Danvers at kdanvers@wiltonlibrary.org if you would like to pick up your book in advance of April 21.

Additional books will be available for purchase courtesy of Elm Street Books. There will be a book signing after the talk. Ticket purchase required. Click here or call 203-762-3950, ext. 247 for tickets.

Larson is the bestselling author of the National Book Award finalist and Edgar Award-winning “The Devil in the White City.” His other national bestsellers include “Isaac's Storm,” “Thunderstruck,” and “In the Garden of Beasts,” which hit No. 1 and remained on the bestseller list for 35 weeks.

The Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton.

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