Larry spends a lot of time in Asia 'checking the weather' for his storytelling.

There’s a rule of thumb for writers: If your doctor calls you at 11:30 at night, it’s bad news. If your agent calls you at 11:30 at night, it’s good news!

Larry Engelmann: Creative Non-fiction

We believe you’ll agree with our assessment, and we’re confident you’ll find practical and inspired insights in what he shares in this compelling interview.

Intemperance (1979)
The Goddess and the American Girl (1988)

Tears Before the Rain (1991)

Daughter of China (1998)

They Said That (1999)

Feather in the Storm (2006)

Magazines: Life, American Heritage, Smithsonian, Playboy, Vietnam, The Saturday Review, Reader's Digest , McLean's, and American Way, the inflight magazine of American Airlines.

Newspapers: Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Toronto Star, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post and the San Jose Mercury News.

NEH Younger Humanist Fellowship (1970s)
Silver Pen Award from San Jose Mercury News (1980)
NY Times Noteworthy Book of the Year The Goddess and the American Girl (1988)

Nominated, Kiriyama Book Prize - Daughter of China (1999)
Nominated, National Book Award - Daughter of China (1999)
Author of the Year, Austin, MN Page Turners (2006)


San Jose, CA

Run Time:



Creative non-fiction




Austin, MN

Youthful Influence:

Soldiers from WWII who came home full of stories.

Favorite Authors:

Ole Rolvaag, Sinclair Lewis, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Graham Greene

Literary Habit:

Butt in chair for hours on end. Lots of research, including visits for sense of place.

Interview Movie
(Embedded version below)

MP3 Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
control click if you are on a Mac. )

But we weren’t prepared for was just how perfect Larry proved to be. He is a master storyteller in his own right, and has clearly devoted much time and thought to the art and craft of storytelling.

Larry is a non-fiction writer who comes to writing from the world of history and literature. Although he says he became a writer "because teaching pays too poorly," he has always been a storyteller. He gradually realized that he could write stories and people would pay him for them. In fact, one of his earliest articles, a piece for Life magazine, paid him as much as his annual salary as a history professor at San Jose State. His books have now been translated into 14 languages, and his articles have been published in dozens of national magazines and newspapers.

Larry Engelmann was a surprise, a gift brought to our attention by an old friend of George's. When we began this journey down the Authors Road, we knew it might be difficult to find writers of the caliber we hoped to interview. We promised each other we would carefully review each writer before investing the hours and hours needed to film, edit and prepare a page. After checking his credentials we were convinced he was perfect for our humble project.

Engelmann's love of Asia is found not only in his work, but also in his home.
We are sorry to report that Larry Engelmann passed away this morning (April 1, 2015). Our condolences to his family, friends and readers. His interview with us was insightful, and it is clear that he will be missed.