Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series will present New York Times best-selling author, Erik Larson, on Thursday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in P.E. Monroe Auditorium. Prior to his presentation, Larson will hold a book-signing at the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. The Hickory Public Library is co-sponsoring these events.

Larson is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, most recently Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, which hit number one on the Times’ list soon after its launch. His previous book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, also hit number one and remained on the printed list for 35 weeks. Movie rights for the book were optioned by Universal Studios and Tom Hanks’ Playtone. Larson’s book The Devil in the White City stayed on the Times’ hardcover and paperback lists for a combined total of over five years. It won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for a National Book Award. The option to make a movie of the book was acquired in November 2010 by Leonardo DiCaprio. In August 2015, DiCaprio formed a new alliance to make the film, in which Martin Scorsese will direct, and Billy Ray will write the screenplay; Paramount will be the backing studio.

LRU’s Visiting Writers Series will complete its 2016-17 season with The Little Read event featuring author, Dan Santat. He will present on Saturday, April 1 in P.E. Monroe Auditorium at noon.

Sponsors of the 2016-17 Series include:

Hickory Public Library, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Crowne Plaza-Hickory, National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Our State: North Carolina, The Beaver Family Foundation, Inc., and WFAE 90.3 FM. The series is also sponsored and supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Free tickets are required and can be reserved by calling the LRU box office at 828.328.7502. Tickets can also be picked up the night of the event. All events are open to the public.

Photo: Erik Larson speaks March 9