Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Powers  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: June 18, 1957 in Evanston, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Powers is an Evanston native. He moved with his family to Lincolnwood in the mid 60's. He graduated from DeKalb High School and attended the University of Illinois, where he later taught literature and creative writing until 2013.

Biographical and Professional Information

Richard Powers is a novelist whose works explore the effects of modern science and technology. While he lived most of his life in Illinois, Powers also lived in Bangkok, Boston, Holland and Cambridge. Most of his books have been inspired by events in his life and the places his life has taken him.

In 1992 Powers accepted a position as writer-in-residence at the University of Illinois and was named to Illinois's endowed Swanlund Chair in English in 1996 and named Center for Advanced Study Professor of English in 1999. In 2013, he left the University of Illinois to teach at Stanford. Today, he lives in the Great Smoky Mountains.


The Overstory

Pulitzer Prize in Fiction

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

New York Times Notable Book

Best Book of the Year, Washington Post

Best Book of the Year, Time

Best Book of the Year, Oprah Magazine

Best Book of the Year, Newsweek

Best Book of the Year, Chicago Tribune

Best Book of the Year, Kirkus


James Fenimore Cooper Prize, 1998

The Gold Bug Variations

TIME Magazine's Best Novel, 1991

Plowing the Dark

Vursell Award, 2000

The Echo Maker

National Book Award, 2006

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes) '''Contact ''' William Morrow 1350 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York

Selected Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 1446413411. OCLC Number: 1004567669

. .

Galatea 2.2 /
ISBN: 0312423136. OCLC Number: 55050801

Picador,. .

Generosity /
ISBN: 1848871252. OCLC Number: 501394760

Atlantic Books,. .

When Russell Stone becomes the teacher of a young Algerian woman with a disturbingly luminous presence, he is both entranced and troubled. How can this refugee from terror radiate such bliss? Is it possible to be so open and alive without coming to serious harm?

ISBN: 1784709727. OCLC Number: 1043402243


Operation wandering soul :
ISBN: 006097611X. OCLC Number: 29598531

HarperPerennial,. .

Plowing the dark /
ISBN: 0099286726. OCLC Number: 965958088

Vintage,. .

Prisoner's dilemma /
ISBN: 0060977086. OCLC Number: 34046495

HarperPerennial,. .

"Something is wrong with Eddie Hobson, Sr., father of four, sometime history teacher, quizmaster, black humorist, and virtuoso invalid. His recurring fainting spells have worsened, and with his ingrained aversion to doctors, his worried family tries to discover the nature of his sickness. Meanwhile, in private, Eddie puts the finishing touches on a secret project he calls Hobstown, a place that he promises will save him, the world, and everything that's in it."

The echo maker /
ISBN: 0312426437. OCLC Number: 148824360

. .

Twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter, suffering from a rare brain disorder that causes him to believe his sister to be an impostor, endeavors to discover the cause of the motor vehicle accident that resulted in his head injury.

The gold bug variations /
ISBN: 0688098916. OCLC Number: 22665566

W. Morrow,. .

A double love story of two couples separated by a distance of twenty five years.

The overstory :
ISBN: 039335668X. OCLC Number: 988292556

. .

"An air force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back to life by creatures of air and light. A hearing-and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These four, and five other strangers -- each summoned in different ways by trees -- are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest."--

The time of our singing
ISBN: 0099453835. OCLC Number: 59291555

Vintage,. .

Three farmers on their way to a dance
ISBN: 9781848871403. OCLC Number: 649290069

Atlantic,. .

In the spring of 1914, renowned photographer August Sander took a photograph of three young men on their way to a country dance. This haunting image, capturing the last moments of innocence on the brink of World War I, provides the central focus of Powers' brilliant and compelling novel. As the fate of the three farmers is chronicled, two contemporary stories unfold. The young narrator becomes obsessed with the photo, while Peter Mays, a computer writer in Boston, discovers he has a personal link with it. The three stories connect in a surprising way and provide the reader with a mystery that spans a century of brutality and progress.