Erik Larson headlines Niehoff Lecture

Author Erik Larson will star in the Mercantile Library's thirty-fourth Niehoff Lecture fundraising event on Oct. 21 at the Hyatt Regency downtown.

Larson's books have made The New York Times bestseller list six times; most recently "The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz."

Among Larson's other bestsellers is "The Devil in the White City," the parallel histories of Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exhibition and serial killer H.H. Holmes, who slaughtered as many as 200 women in his own hotel while the grand event was created.

Amy Hunter, the Mercantile's head of events and programming, said Larson has a diverse, enthusiastic following.

"We have never had a speaker with such broad appeal," she said. "Old people, young people, all kinds of readers. His books are so different from each other subject-wise, but all so well done. He could come back for five lectures and not finish talking about what interests our members."

The Niehoff Lecture is the library's only major annual fundraising event, and has compiled a dazzling list of star speakers -- Jonathan Winters, Julia Child, Ray Bradbury, Salman Rushdie, and most recently Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood, Bob Woodward and Aaron Sorkin.

The library, at 414 Walnut St., is not nearly big enough to accommodate the audience; the event is held in the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency on 5th Street.

At a glance:
  • Niehoff XXXIV speaker Erik Larson
  • Saturday, October 21, 2023. 7:00PM
  • Hyatt Regency Downtown, 151 W. 5th St., Cincinnati
  • Attire: Black-tie/cocktail.
  • Includes a cocktail reception and multi-course dinner
  • $200 for Mercantile Library members and $265 for nonmembers.
  • Tickets on sale now at here.  
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Margaret A. McGurk.

Margaret A. McGurk is a freelance writer, editor and media consultant. She was film critic for The Cincinnati Enquirer from 1995 to 2005.