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University of Iowa News Release

 

Sept. 19, 2007

Oct. 4 'Live from Prairie Lights' reading features LA Times Book of the Year

A Los Angeles Times and Washington Post book of the year, Abigail Thomas' memoir "Three Dog Life" (just out in paperback), will be featured in a "Live from Prairie Lights" reading at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Listen live via the Writing University website at http://writinguniversity.uiowa.edu. The event will also be recorded for broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, originating on UI radio station WSUI-AM 910. Hour-long "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by Julie Englander, air at 8 and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910 in Iowa City, WOI-AM 640 in Ames, and KRNI-AM 1010 in Cedar Falls.

Thomas' memoir describes how she came to accept her husband's traumatic and debilitating brain injury with the help of her dogs.

Donna Chavez wrote for Booklist, "In these exquisitely written essays Thomas reflects on how her marriage had to be reinvented after the night her husband, Richard, took their dog, Harry, out for a walk, and Harry came home alone. Richard had been hit by a car and was lying bleeding in the street. The traumatic head injury he suffered didn't kill him, as attending police had predicted it would, but it rendered him susceptible to large-scale memory loss, hallucinations, and such wild rages that Thomas was forced to commit him to an institution.

"Lesser events have destroyed relationships, so it would not be surprising to learn that Thomas abandoned Richard. She didn't. Instead, she sold their New York apartment, moved upstate to be near him, and acquired two more dogs to keep her company. What's more, she can't imagine life without her husband, saying, 'It would be like falling through space with a parachute but no planet to land on.' Thomas has elevated what could be, at best, an overemotional sermon or, at worst, a grim romp in self-pity to a high plain of true inspiration."

A faculty member at the New School, Thomas is the author of another memoir, "Safekeeping," as well as a novel and two story collections.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights, 319-337-2681, paul@prairielights.com; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu