If You Go
Date:January 9, 2006
Time: 6:30 PM
Where: Old Main

A Book Discussion with Author Timothy Egan

Personal stories and eyewitness accounts of the 1930s’ Dust Bowl disaster on the high plains were part of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Timothy Egan’s public discussion January 9, 2006, at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Egan discussed his new book, The Worst Hard Time, at 6:30 p.m. in the Old Main Chapel. The event was free and open to the public, and a book signing and reception followed the talk in Old Main’s CU Heritage Center.

At its peak, the Dust Bowl covered close to 100 million acres and more than a quarter of a million Americans were forced to flee their ruined homes. In The Worst Hard Time, Egan details the plight of individuals and families in communities across the affected region, weaving together the eyewitness accounts of survivors now in their 80s and 90s.

“The American West got lucky when Tim Egan focused his acute powers of observation on its past and present,” said Patricia Limerick, Faculty Director of the Center of the American West. “Egan’s remarkable combination of clear analysis and warm empathy anchors his portrait of the women and men who held on to their places – and held on to their souls – through the nearly unimaginable miseries of the Dust Bowl.”

Egan is a national enterprise reporter for The New York Times and has covered some of the most important events and trends in the American West. His 1998 book, Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West, won the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award with a combination of compelling case studies and reflections on bigger patterns of change in the West. Another of his four books, The Good Rain, is a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Book Award winner and regional bestseller for over a decade.

In 2001, Egan was part of a team of reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize for a New York Times series exploring racial experiences and attitudes across contemporary America. He also is a commentator for the “Letter From America” feature on BBC radio. He lives in Seattle.

The event is the first in a yearlong series celebrating the Center’s 20th anniversary.