Latest News: Faculty Engagement Corps Journal Day 1: On the road
Wahls is back by popular demand
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By popular demand, former and future University of Iowa student Zach Wahls will return to read from My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading will be streamed live on the Writing University website, www.writinguniversity.org.
It's one of three free readings that the Writing University will stream next week.
Charles Read, UI professor emeritus of pediatrics, will read from his memoir, This Navy Doctor Came Ashore, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 22.
Kevin Wilson will read from his New York Times' bestselling novel, The Family Fang, which has just been released in paperback, at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24.
Read's book chronicles the time he spent as a country doctor in Canada, a practice he happened into by accident.
Read, who has lived in Iowa City since 1954, entered the Royal Canadian Navy in 1943 and worked for three years as a flight surgeon. When World War II was winding down, Read realized his career as a flight surgeon was also over, but remembered how much he'd enjoyed the three weeks he spent in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, when he relieved the medical officer at HMCS Queen Charlotte.
The city of 20,000 reminded him of his hometown ofAmherst, Nova Scotia, just across the Northumberland Strait. He also knew that as the only medical officer, he'd find independence, significant responsibility, and virtual freedom from naval protocol and politics.
But this was during prohibition on the island, and Read soon discovered that a great deal of his time would be spent writing "prescriptions" for alcohol so officers could drink. He also found that due to a lack of family physicians, he'd be asked to open a general practice in a rural area of the province—a new adventure for a flight surgeon with little experience in family medicine.
Wilson's bizarre, mirthful debut novel traces the genesis of the Fang family, art world darlings who make "strange and memorable things." That is, they instigate and record public chaos.
When an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. The Fang children unwittingly star in their parents' madcap pieces, and later find it hard to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world.
UI Writers’ Workshop alumna Ann Patchett commented, "The Family Fang is a comedy, a tragedy, and a tour-de-force examination of what it means to make art and survive your family."
Wilson, who teaches at the University of the South in Tennessee, is also the author of the collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association, and the Shirley Jackson Award.
Wahls and his 2 moms
For Wahls’ May 26 reading, his moms, Terry and Jackie, will accompany him as he returns from a whirlwind national tour that included an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
A video of Wahls' speech arguing in support of same-gender marriage and in defense of his upbringing by two women went viral on the Internet last year, attracting more than two million views.
For additional information or accommodations for the live events contact Prairie Lights at 319-337-2681.