Writer from W. Chicago returns to suburbs for book chat in Arlington Heights
West Chicago native and author Kirk Wallace Johnson returned to the suburbs Thursday night to talk about his critically acclaimed true-crime thriller at an Arlington Heights Memorial Library event.
"The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century" was selected as the library's sixth annual One Book, One Village choice in a communitywide vote. Along with book group discussions and other programming, the library brings in One Book authors every year for a community conversation and a Q&A.
Thursday night before a packed house at the Forest View Auditorium, Johnson played video clips of stolen birds and audio of interviews he conducted as part of the research for his book. It's the story of a 20-year-old American music student who broke into a London museum in 2009 and stole 299 dead birds so he could harvest their valuable feathers and sell them to fly-tiers.
Johnson, the son of the late state legislator Tom Johnson, is a Fulbright Scholar who spent the early part of his adult life leading reconstruction efforts in war-torn Iraq.