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KPBS Midday Edition

Tracy Kidder Talks Non-Fiction Craft At Writer’s Symposium

Author Tracy Kidder in an undated photo.
Gabriel Amadeus Cooney
Author Tracy Kidder in an undated photo.
Tracy Kidder Talks Non-Fiction Craft At Writer’s Symposium
Tracy Kidder Talks Non-Fiction Craft At Writer’s Symposium GUEST: Tracy Kidder, author, "A Truck Full of Money"

A man once described as "the master of the non-fiction narrative" is one of the featured speakers at this year's annual Writer’s Symposium By the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Tracy Kidder is known for telling the stories of people who do remarkable things. His 1981 book, "The Soul of a New Machine," won the Pulitzer Prize for profiling a group of fledgling computer engineers as they worked non-stop to build a next-generation computer. His latest book, "A Truckful of Money," revisits the digital world with a look at one of its most successful entrepreneurs: Paul English, the founder of the travel site Kayak. English sold Kayak in 2012 for nearly $2 billion, leaving him with about $120 million personally and uncertain what he should do with it.

Kidder said he's compelled to profile individual subjects or small groups, instead of setting out to write about larger issues like entrepreneurship or philanthropy.

"I have great respect for people who write about topics. They tend to write about individuals as exemplars of something," Kidder said. "I find the interesting story of a person, then I get fascinated by the things that preoccupy them."

Kidder speaks Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Writer's Symposium and joined KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday with more on his approach to storytelling.