Skip to Content

College of Arts and Sciences


Open Book Author Visit: Arthur Phillips

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 -
6:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: Campus Room in Capstone

Arthur Phillips is the author of five critically hailed novels—and the first five-time Jeopardy champion to visit The Open Book. His books have been widely translated as well as celebrated by readers and critics, including a shortlisting for the prestigious IMPAC International Literary Prize. The Washington Post calls his fifth novel, The Tragedy of Arthur, "an emotional and elaborately constructed tour de force" from "one of the best writers in America." Its doomed hero (who happens to be named Arthur Phillips) is a young novelist struggling with a con artist father who works wonders of deception. Imprisoned for decades and nearing the end of his life, Arthur’s father reveals a treasure he’s kept secret for half a century: The Tragedy of Arthur, a previously unknown play by William Shakespeare. Is the manuscript Arthur and his sister inherit the Bard's last gift to humanity, or is it their father's last and greatest con? This witty and virtuosic novel, which includes Shakespeare’s (?) lost play in its entirety, challenges our notions of truth, fiction, genius, and identity, as the two Arthurs—the novelist and the ancient king—play out their strangely intertwined fates. The Tragedy of Arthur was a New York Times Notable Book as well as a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite of the Year, and was named to the best-of-the-year lists of the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago TribuneLibrary JournalKirkus, and Salon.

Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and The Open Book