April 23, 2020
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Best-selling author Ransom Riggs ’01 returns to Kenyon on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss his writing, his career and his collection of vintage photographs during “A Very Peculiar Evening with Ransom Riggs.”
The free event at Rosse Hall, which is being livestreamed at ransomriggs.kenyon.edu, features the author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and its sequel, Hollow City, both fixtures on the New York Times young-adult bestseller list. A book signing will follow Riggs’s talk.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011) has been on the bestseller list for more than 43 weeks, and the sequel, published this year, has been a top seller for more than eight weeks. A third novel is expected to conclude a trilogy, which blends fantasy and vintage photography in stories about children with unusual powers. A film version of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, directed by Tim Burton, is expected to be released in July 2015.
“One of the themes of Miss Peregrine, and I think of any novel that involves the discovery of a secret world, is awakening … awakening to an awesome and wonderful and, in some ways, terrible reality,” Riggs says in an interview published in the current, paperback edition of the novel. A Goodreads.com review noted, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a wonderfully unique and inventive book with colorful characters, a mysterious story, and a splash of historical relevance, incorporating vintage photographs that bring the story to life.”
P.F. Kluge, author and Kenyon writer-in-residence, said Riggs, his former student, “employs a first-rate writing talent” in the young-adult genre. “The result is engaging, well-paced, rich in character and setting,” Kluge said. “His work captures young readers and cunningly attracts older ones. His pages are enriched by vintage photographs, which inspire and illustrate his work. Riggs is worth reading and worth knowing.”
Riggs is a collector of snapshots of people he doesn’t know. He also writes a blog and screenplays and is a filmmaker, who creates video trailers for his books. Riggs wrote The Sherlock Holmes Handbook (2009).
Among the literary influences mentioned by Riggs is fellow Kenyon graduate John Green ’00, author of The Fault in Our Stars. After receiving his bachelor's in English from Kenyon in 2001, Riggs earned a master’s in fine arts at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 2006. His investment in higher education paid off, he says on his website, because “being part of those creative communities gave me lots of time to practice writing things and making movies.”
To learn more about the event, call 740-427-5158.