Mark Larson

The Beaufort Bookstore and the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center will host an evening with Mark Larson, award-winning educator and author of Working in the 21st Century: An Oral History of American Work in a Time of Social and Economic Transformation, on Monday, April 29, at 5:00 p.m., at the Beaufort Bookstore (2127 Boundary St, #15, Beaufort). Larson will be in conversation with two of the interview subjects of his book, Dr. N’kia J. Campbell, officer of academic initiatives for the Beaufort County School District, and Bradley Tarrance, principal of Robert Smalls Leadership Academy.

Free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale and signing. Please call to reserve your seat in advance: 843-525-1066.

Esquire magazine has named Working in the 21st Century as One of the Best Books of 2024 (so far).

Author Mark Larson sits down with more than one hundred workers from across the socioeconomic spectrum as they share their experiences with work and what it has meant in their lives—the good, the bad, the mundane, and the profound. Doulas, firefighters, chefs, hairstylists, executives, actors, stay-at-home parents, and so many more talk about what they do all day and how it aligns (or doesn’t) with what they want to be doing with their lives. The pandemic, the ensuing “Great Resignation,” and the current reckonings with racial justice are among the forces that are now upending and reshaping our longstanding relationships with work. Larson’s interviews display how these forces collide in the lives of average Americans as they tell their own stories with passion, heartbreak, and, ultimately, hope.

Working in the 21st Century asks why we show up—or don’t—to the jobs we’ve chosen, and how the upheaval of the past few years has changed how we perceive the work we do. It will be released to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Studs Terkel’s 1974 classic Working.

Mark Larson is a Chicago-based writer and educator who holds a doctorate in educational leadership. Larson has worked at Evanston Township High School, the Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, and National Louis University. He is the author of two books on education and Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater, for which he conducted over 300 interviews with Chicago theater artists, past and present. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Mary. They have twin daughters and twin grandsons.

To learn more about the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, please visit