The Working Class Student Union hosted fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss for the keynote address in their Working Class Celebration Month event series Friday.
Rothfuss, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Kingkiller Chronicle” series, is a native of Madison who attended UW-Stevens Point.
Rothfuss answered questions from the audience, which varied from life in Stevens Point to his spirit animal and mental health.
He said growing past a limited worldview and understanding intersectionality helped with his writing. He told the story of how and why he brought class issues into his books.
“A lot of people in the U.S. don’t think that we have issues of class in America,” Rothfuss said. “You look at England, and their nobility, their landowners. Obviously class is built into their society. I try to talk about it when I get the chance, just to raise some awareness and to get people thinking about something they might not otherwise.”
Many of the questions Rothfuss answered centered around geek culture, his writing style and the plotline of his books. He also talked about what kept him writing.
“For years, writing was the thing I did as an act of rebellion,” Rothfuss said. “The fact that my friends made fun of me for working on this mammoth [book] for so many years, it kept me going.”
More than 400 people attended the event and many stayed afterward for a book signing and meet-and-greet.
“I really enjoyed [the event],” UW-Madison graduate student Carly Schulz said. “I wasn’t expecting it to be so funny. I think it’s really important for bestselling authors like this to come, not only because it encourages people to read, but because it’s important for UW-Madison to have a connection to that community.”