Tuesday, January 21, 2014
jen percy
Jen Percy

Jen Percy, a graduate of the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will read from her debut, Demon Camp: A Soldier's Exorcism, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in a free reading at Prairie Lights Books in downtown Iowa City. The reading also will be streamed live on the University of Iowa Writing University website.

Winner of a Pushcart Prize and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New Republic, and The Oxford American. She teaches writing at New York University. While a graduate student, Percy began compulsively researching the stories of soldiers who returned from war irrevocably altered by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and with thoughts of suicide. Her research led her to Caleb Daniels and others suffering from the aftermath of the horrors they experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan. Daniels feels tormented by the visions of war and also comes to believe he is haunted by a demon. He seeks relief in a religious community in rural Georgia run by an evangelical exorcist.

In Demon Camp, Percy explores Daniels’ life, the malady of PTSD, and in surprisingly intimate reportage, a handful of other fascinating, disturbing, and charismatic individuals whose understanding of trauma lead Daniels—and Percy—into the dark heart of post–war America.

This event is co–sponsored by the Nonfiction Writing Program (NWP); the NWP and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop are graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this forum, call Jan Weissmiller in advance at Prairie Lights, 319-337-2681.

For a UI arts calendar and details about upcoming events visit the Arts Iowa website.