The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

John Green lectures to packed room at UI

The renowned novelist, best known for “Fault in Our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska,” spoke about everything from his career to Caitlin Clark to tuberculosis. 
Ava Neumaier
Author John Green speaks during a lecture in the Iowa Memorial Union on Thursday, April 18, 2024. Green spoke about being a bestselling author, YouTuber, and philanthropist.

Whether they know him through his novels or his YouTube channel, virtually everyone is familiar with the work of John Green in some capacity.

On Thursday night, Green visited the University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union to speak and answer questions, drawing hundreds of hopefuls in line to enter the building’s main lounge.

The best-selling author is best known for his books “Looking for Alaska,” “Paper Towns,” and “The Fault in Our Stars,” which has alone sold over 23 million copies and became the subject of a movie adaptation by the same name in 2014. Green is also best known as the personality behind Crash Course, an educational, short-form YouTube channel boasting 15.4 million subscribers.

Previously, the University Lecture Committee has held lectures from internet star Brittany Broski, actor Josh Peck, The Daily host Michael Barbaro, and political analyst Joy Reid, among others.

Hunter Heppe, a UI third-year student, is a longtime fan of Green’s and was eager to see what the author had to say. Heppe considers Green’s “Looking for Alaska” one of his favorite books of all time.

“He was an instrumental part in my childhood and education, growing up with Crash Course,” Heppe said.

Graduate student Javier Hernandez voiced his love of Crash Course as well.

“Compared to how YouTube was at the time, I really liked his Crash Course [videos] on literature. They were pretty informative and well-made,” he said, adding that he felt Green always seemed sincere on the channel.

Hernandez is a writer, and although he hadn’t read any of Green’s work before the lecture, he was excited to see what the author had to say.

“Since he was here, I thought, why not?” he said.

Hernandez was accompanied by his sister Lisa, who happened to be visiting at the time and decided to tag along. Her only exposure to Green’s work was through the film adaptation of his bestselling novel, “The Fault in Our Stars,” but she was excited to be in attendance as well.

During the lecture, Green answered questions about topics ranging from his career with his brother to Caitlin Clark’s transfer to his home state of Indiana to his ongoing hatred of tuberculosis. He was met with frequent laughter and applause, and as he left he received a standing ovation

Afterward, UI alum Mike Keller-Wilson voiced his appreciation for Green and his earnest discussion.

“Green is a really heartfelt human being who is okay being vulnerable in a crowd of 1,000,” he said. “I think it’s really heartwarming.”

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About the Contributors
Grant Darnell, Arts Reporter
Grant Darnell is a second year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in English and Creative Writing and Screenwriting Arts. He is currently an Arts Reporter for the Daily Iowan.
Ava Neumaier
Ava Neumaier, Photojournalist
Ava Neumaier is a first-year student at the University of Iowa, majoring in English & Creative Writing. She was the Editor-in-Chief of her high school yearbook in New York, and has interned for a New York Times photographer. She enjoys taking pictures of performances and student life.