Erik Larson’s next book centers on Nazi blitz of London

Entertainment

This undated image released by Crown shows Erik Larson, author of The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During The Blitz.” The book, set during the Nazi bombing of London in 1940-41, comes out in March. (Benjamin Benschneider/Crown via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Erik Larson’s next book tells a story he knows has been heard before.

“The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz,” which comes out next March, is set during the Nazi bombing of London in 1940-41. Countless books and movies have documented those fateful months and Winston Churchill’s call to “stand up to” Hitler, so that time would be remembered as the British empire’s “finest hour.” But Larson said in a recent interview that he felt there were ways to dramatize those events that have yet to be fully “exploited.” He is drawing upon everything from the diary of Mary Churchill, the prime minister’s daughter, to intelligence reports and other materials only recently declassified.

“My goal was to put us there in that first year of his prime ministry,” said Larson, known for the best-selling “The Devil in the White City,” his novelistic portrait of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

During a recent telephone interview, Larson said he thought of doing the new book after moving from Seattle to New York in 2015 and for the first time viscerally sensing the impact of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Had I been living in the apartment I’m in now I would have seen the smoke,” he said. “I started to think about how you cope during a time like that.”

Larson will juxtapose the Nazi blitzkrieg with such parallel narratives as Churchill’s urgent campaign for aid from the United States and Britain’s efforts to camouflage Churchill’s country home from the Nazi bombers.

“There was all kinds of stuff that I wondered at first if I should use,” he said. “I finally just said, ‘I’m into this. By god, I like it.'”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Don’t Miss

Win a trip to see Mel Robbins
Join the Pro Football Challenge
On the Trail: VR/360º
Bailey's Bites: On The Road
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
CBS47 On Your Side
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact Investigative Reporter Erik Rosales and let him be

On Your Side.

Email erikrosales@cbsfresno.com

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.