Tucson Festival of Books

Jonathan Eig

Doug McGoldrick

Sponsored by Arizona Daily Star

Jonathan Eig is the best-selling author of six books, most recently, "King: A Life," which The New York Times hailed as a “monumental” work that now stands as “the definitive” new biography of Martin Luther King Jr.

Eig's previous book, "Ali: A Life," won a 2018 PEN America Literary Award and was a finalist for the Mark Lynton History Prize.

He served as consulting producer for the PBS series "Muhammad Ali," which was directed by Ken Burns. Esquire named "Ali" one of the 25 greatest biographies of all time. Joyce Carol Oates called it "an epic of a biography" that "reads like a novel."

Eig's first book, "Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig," reached No. 10 on The New York Times best-seller list and won the Casey Award. 

Eig began his writing career at 16, working for the Rockland County, New York Journal News. Later, he was a reporter for The New Orleans Times-Picayune, The Dallas Morning News, Chicago Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. He now lives in Chicago with his wife and children and shares office space with the laundry machines.

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Awards: PEN Literary Award, 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing, 2023 National Book Award Nominee

Scheduled events:
The Man Who Would Be King
Jonathan Eig is making his fifth visit to our festival this weekend, and again he comes with an award-winning biography. This one features Rev. Martin Luther King, whose American Dream remains as elusive as it was 60 years ago. Did any of us really know the man? Let's ask.

Arizona Daily Star Stage (Seats 250)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
History / Biography
Signing area: Signing - Arizona Daily Star (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelist: Jonathan Eig
MLK and the Legacy of Racism
Our Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, but racism continues to be a part of American life. Our authors will talk about race from early abuses in the Jim Crow era to the struggles for equality led by Martin Luther King Jr. to issues in policing nationwide.

Student Union Gallagher Theater (Seats 337)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Current Issues / Politics / Social Science
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA BookStore Tent (on Mall) (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Jonathan Eig, Antonia Hylton, Edwin Raymond
Moderator: Samuel Brown
2023 National Book Awards
Join 2023 National Book Award authors Jonathan Eig, Brandon Som and John Vaillant for a conversation about narrative voice ... from biography to journalism to poetry. We'll learn how they get to the truth in a way that resonates with readers, regardless of form or genre. Presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation.

Koffler Room 204 (Seats 300, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 10, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
National Book Awards
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA BookStore Tent (on Mall) (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Jonathan Eig, Brandon Som, John Vaillant
Moderator: Ruth Dickey

King: A Life
History / Biography
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 2023
ISBN 9780374279295
688 pages
Buy now

Ali: A Life
A Life
History / Biography
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
January 2018
ISBN 9781328505699
672 pages
Buy now