Bill Bryson – Keynote Speaker

Author of 'Notes from a Small Island' and 'A Short History of Everything'

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Specialist Subjects

  • Author


  • English


In his best-selling books, author Bill Bryson tackles any subject from travel and the English language to the history of the home. With a wacky worldview and wanderlust that garners him comparisons to Chaucer and Dave Barry, he entertains readers around the world with his travelogues and insights into the intricacies of language.

The Lost Continent, Bryson’s hilarious first travel book, chronicles a trip in his mother’s Chevy around small-town America. Since then, he has written the bestsellers A Walk in the Woods, I’m a Stranger Here Myself (published in Britain as Notes from a Big Country), and In a Sunburned Country (published in Britain as Down Under).

His other books include Bill Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, Made in America, The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson’s African Diary, A Short History of Nearly Everything, and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. His latest is At Home: A Short History of Private Life, in which he takes readers on a room-by-room tour through his own house, using each room as a jumping-off point into the vast history of the domestic artifacts we take for granted.

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Bryson ventured out to England on a backpacking expedition in 1973, met his wife, and decided to settle. He wrote for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent for many years, writing travel articles to supplement his income. He and his family lived in North Yorkshire before moving back to the US in 1995. In 2003, they moved back to England, where they currently reside.

In 2005, Bill Bryson was appointed chancellor of Durham University, succeeding the late Sir Peter Ustinov. He has been awarded honorary degrees by numerous universities.

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