Celebrate Ernie Pyle’s Indiana roots with talk and book-signing with Owen V. Johnson, editor of the book, At Home with Ernie Pyle (IU Press, 2015). As anyone who has read his legendary WWII reporting knows, Ernie Pyle had an uncanny ability to connect with his readers, seeking out stories about the common people with whom he felt a special bond. A master of word painting, Pyle honed the skills that would win him a 1944 Pulitzer Prize for his battlefront reporting by traveling across America, writing columns about the people and places he encountered. At Home with Ernie Pyle gathers for the first time his writings about the state and its people. These stories preserve a vivid cultural memory of his time. In them, we discover the Ernie Pyle who was able to find a piece of home wherever he wandered. By focusing on his family and the lives of people in and from the Hoosier state, Pyle was able to create a multifaceted picture of the state as it slowly transformed from a mostly rural, agrarian society to a modern, industrial one. Here is the record of a special time and place created by a master craftsman, whose work remains vividly alive three quarters of a century later.
Owen V. Johnson is Associate Professor Emeritus of Journalism at Indiana University Bloomington. Johnson is this country's foremost expert on Ernie Pyle, having not only edited the book being presented here, but also having taught a course, "In the Footsteps of Ernie Pyle" for seven years.