March 12, 2014
Simon Winchester, New York Times best-selling author and former foreign correspondent for The Guardian and the London Sunday Times, is currently in the middle stages of researching and writing a book about the New Pacific Ocean. He discussed the literary dilemmas and challenges inherent in creating a work of such prodigious scale and complexity – ranging from 1950 to the present, from Alaska to Australia and Kamchatka to Chile. The book (due out in late 2015) will in effect be the third in a trilogy – the first volume was Atlantic, out in 2011; the second The Men Who United the States, published in 2013. Firm in his belief that an innovative and creative literary structure is as critical to the making of a commercially successful book as is a compelling idea and fine writing, Winchester illustrated how he devised structures for the two previous New York Times best-selling volumes and how he now plans to deal with the new work on the Pacific.
Simon Winchester spent more than 30 years traveling the world as a foreign correspondent for The Guardian and the London Sunday Times, with 15 of those years based in Asia, in New Delhi and Hong Kong. In 1997 he moved to America where he is now a full-time author. He has written 26 books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Map that Changed the World, Krakatoa and The Man Who Loved China. In 2006, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to journalism and literature by Her Majesty the Queen. He lives on a farm in the Berkshires, in Massachusetts.