Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Powers  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: June 18, 1957 in Evanston, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Powers was born in Evanston and moved to Lincolnwood in the mid 60's. He attended the University of Illinois. He currently teaches at the University of Illinois and lives in Urbana.

Biographical and Professional Information

Richard Powers is an American novelist whose works explore the effects of modern science and technology. While he was born in and currently resides in Illinois, Richard Powers has lived in Bangkok, Boston, Holland and Cambridge. Most of his books have been inspired by his events in his life and the places his life has taken him.In 1992 he 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. Today, he continues to serve as a Swanlund Professor of English and Professor at the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois as well as write, teach, and travel.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Three farmers on their way to a dance /
ISBN: 0060975091. OCLC Number:

. .

A photograph of three young men walking along a road in Germany just before World War I inspires one man to attempt to penetrate the photograph's mystery through research and prompts another man to a personal quest.

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

HarperPerennial,. New York :. 1996.

"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 gold bug variations /
ISBN: 0688098916. OCLC Number:

W. Morrow,. New York :. ©1991.

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

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

HarperPerennial,. New York :. 1994.

Galatea 2.2 /
ISBN: 0312423136. OCLC Number:

Picador,. New York :. 2004.

Plowing the dark /
ISBN: 0099286726. OCLC Number:

Vintage,. London :. 2002.

The time of our singing /
ISBN: 0434010626. OCLC Number:

Heinemann,. London :. 2003.

The echo maker /
ISBN: 0312426437. OCLC Number:

. .

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.

Generosity /
ISBN: 1848871252. OCLC Number:

Atlantic Books,. London :. 2010, ©2009.

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?



  • James Fenimore Cooper Prize, 1998
  • The Gold Bug Variations

  • TIME Magazine's Best Novel, 1991
  • Plowing in the Dark

  • Vursell Award, 2000
  • The Echo Maker

  • National Book Award, 2006

    Other Awards

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)


    William Morrow 1350 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York