Writer from W. Chicago returns to suburbs for book chat in Arlington Heights

  • Author Kirk Wallace Johnson discusses his book "The Feather Thief" during an event sponsored by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and hosted at the Forest View Auditorium on Thursday night.

      Author Kirk Wallace Johnson discusses his book "The Feather Thief" during an event sponsored by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and hosted at the Forest View Auditorium on Thursday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • A crowd listens as author Kirk Wallace Johnson talks about his book "The Feather Thief" during an event sponsored by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and hosted at the Forest View Auditorium on Thursday night.

      A crowd listens as author Kirk Wallace Johnson talks about his book "The Feather Thief" during an event sponsored by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and hosted at the Forest View Auditorium on Thursday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • "The Feather Thief" by Kirk Wallace Johnson tells the true 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.

      "The Feather Thief" by Kirk Wallace Johnson tells the true 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. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Kirk Wallace Johnson, author of the "The Feather Thief," is a former West Chicago resident who spent the early part of his adult life leading reconstruction efforts in war-torn Iraq.

      Kirk Wallace Johnson, author of the "The Feather Thief," is a former West Chicago resident who spent the early part of his adult life leading reconstruction efforts in war-torn Iraq. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 10/10/2019 9:40 PM

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.

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