In this episode we have the pleasure and honor of speaking with Anthony Doerr. Anthony is an American author of novels, short stories, and essays. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See (2014), which was a #1 New York Times bestseller, has been translated into more than 40 languages, and has recently been adapted into a limited series on Netflix. He is also the author of the novels Cloud Cuckoo Land (2021) and About Grace (2007), short story collections The Shell Collector (2002) and Memory Wall (2010), and his personal memoir Four Seasons in Rome (2011). Anthony writes for The Boston Globe and The Morning News online magazine, has been featured in The Atlantic and The New Yorker, was the Writer in Residence for Idaho from 2007 to 2010, and has taught at Boise State University. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he has received numerous prestigious awards and has been a finalist for many more. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and has called Boise his home for many years.
All his deserved acclaim aside, Anthony was a blast to speak with. He’s the kind of guy you feel you’ve known for years and with whom you want to share a bottle of wine by a fire pit (or as he may prefer, a six pack). He just has such a positive energy. We could have talked for hours, but restrained ourselves to focus on some of the themes of his novels which include the power of ideas to mobilize people to action, authoritative control and censorship, technology’s ability to make wonders or wreak havoc, the dangers of “othering”, and being a force for good in the world. We touch on how many of these issues have affected our local community, the value of libraries, our shared love of Idaho, and even discuss how to be great parents and raise good, strong kids who are ready for a tumultuous world.
FYI: We spoke with Anothy over Zoom, which is usually wonderful, but today caused a few hiccups. Or maybe it was our internet connection. Who knows- I’m not a tech nerd. But there are a few Matrix-y sounding pings and a little static towards the end. We hope you bear with us, because the conversation is well worth it.
If you want to know more about Anthony, just Google him (he’s kind of a big deal and is all over the internet). But you can get an overview at his website anthonydoerr.com or by checking out one of his many writings. We strongly recommend you read either All the Light We Cannot See or Cloud Cuckoo Land, or tune into the Netflix series of All the Light We Cannot See.