Netflix series 'All the Light We Cannot See’ is based on a novel written by BGSU alumnus

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – A four-part series premiering Nov. 2 on Netflix based on the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “All the Light We Cannot See” has a connection to Bowling Green State University.

The internationally acclaimed author of the book from which the series was adapted is distinguished BGSU alumnus Anthony Doerr ‘99.

Doerr graduated from the University with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and recently received the institution's highest honor of being inducted into the BGSU Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

“All the Light We Cannot See” spent more than four years on The New York Times Best Sellers list and received a dozen other awards and accolades, including the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and finalist for the 2014 National Book Award.

The novel is about hope, courage and human connection during World War II.

“I hope readers who enjoyed the book … will also come to the show and be told a story that is not just about entertainment. It’s a story about children at war. In many ways, those are the kinds of lights that we don’t see, that we don’t pay attention to,” Doerr said in an interview on Boise State Public Radio.

Doerr is a native of Cleveland and now lives in Boise, Idaho.

Award-winning filmmaker Shawn Levy, known for producing Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” directed the series, which features actors Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie. As an impassioned fan of the book, Levy was committed to ensuring the series was an accurate portrayal of the book.

“[My goal was] to do justice to this gorgeous novel that touched me so deeply,” Levy said in an article on Tudum, Netflix’s fan site.

Doerr has written the story collections “The Shell Collector” and “Memory Wall,” the memoir “Four Seasons in Rome” and “About Grace.”

His latest novel, “Cloud Cuckoo Land,” was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award, a finalist for Novel of the Year in British Book Awards and winner of the 2022 Grand prix de littérature américaine in France.

Doerr’s work has been translated into more than 40 languages and won many awards, including five O. Henry Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the 2010 Story Prize, considered the most prestigious prize in the U.S. for a collection of short stories.

Updated: 11/01/2023 03:06PM