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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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All the people we do not know: Anthony Doerr

Pulitzer Prize winner and author visits BGSU
Bella Delgado
English Department teaching professor Brad Felver [LEFT], Anthony Doerr [MIDDLE], and English Department Chair and professor Stephanie Gearhart [RIGHT].

Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “All the Light We Cannot See” is best known for being an accomplished writer. Doerr returned to BGSU, where he received his Master’s degree, as a distinguished alumnus for a Q&A with students.

Doerr was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. He attended Bowdoin College in Maine where he majored in History. After obtaining his degree, Doerr made the decision to move to Colorado, working as a cook. He said he would decide to take a leap of faith and push forward with his writing. 

Without looking back, Doerr began a search for the school that would help him move forward in his passion, in which he found BGSU. 

Doerr started off by finding structures and patterns in books that he admired. He attended his first creative writing class where he learned how to expand his ideas and found himself a mentor, Wendell Mayo. Mayo encouraged Doerr to run with his thoughts and helped him feel seen and heard as a writer. 

Doerr started teaching creative writing after earning his master’s. 

“I think I learned almost as much teaching as I did being taught,” he said. 

As Doerr taught, he continued working on his writings. His first published book “The Shell Collector” was a series of short stories, published in 2002. He received five different awards for this title. 

Doerr is known for writing huge and ambitious stories. This passion for writing led Doerr to sit down and watch his work grow.

“Most of the time when I sit down to write, I’m not thinking about how long it’s going to be or what category it will be in, I just write until it feels complete,” he said. 

Instead, Doerr said he focuses on the details of the plot line and characters. 

There is a substantial amount of research that goes into writing a story. 

Doerr stated, “We create a dream for readers to live in and we want to make it so they don’t wake up.” 

He claims when things are inaccurate, it causes the magic trick to be broken and the credibility of the author is gone. 

Currently, Doerr is awaiting the arrival of the Netflix limited series that will be based on his book “All the Light We Cannot See,” featuring Mark Ruffalo. 


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    Lisa GadsbySep 29, 2023 at 10:51 am

    I’ll have to check out the book. Great article!