Want to Write, Got to Read: Good Thunder with Tracy Kidder

Kevin Heimermann, Staff Writer

On September 12th, I went to Mankato with a group to take part in the Good Thunder Reading Series at the Minnesota State University with its first read- er Tracy Kidder. He graduated from Harvard and studied at the University of Iowa, and has won the Pulitzer Prize and many other literary awards.

Kidder had a craft talk, where he talked about writing non-fiction works and his relationship with his long- time editor, Richard Todd. He followed this with a later reading of his own works. I learned many things that day and had a great time listening to Kidder.

As someone who wants to be able to write good non- fiction as well as fiction, I found the craft talk incredibly informative.

Kidder had many tips for writing non-fiction, including the fact that you should never have to go looking for subjects; just meeting people and finding new things to get interested in will provide you with everything you would need.

Another tip: if you want to learn something, write about it. The craft talk was great, as well as the reading.

Kidder’s stories and experiences were interesting and were told in an entertaining manner.

He talked about his time when he was a journalist and the stories and tips that emerged from it, including how you should gather more material than you need for a piece, maybe ten times as much.

Tracy Kidder was a very entertaining and hilarious man that I would be able to listen to for eternity.