Writing University site to stream Rasmussen reading and “Paul’s Book Club”

St. Louis writer Rebecca Rasmussen will read from her debut novel, The Bird Sisters, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 10, in Prairie Lights Books. The bookstore also will host the next edition of “Paul’s Book Club,” featuring Paul Ingram and his Prairie Lights audience discussing Go With Me by Castle Freeman Jr., at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 11.

These free events will be streamed live and archived by the University of Iowa’s Writing University web site, www.writinguniversity.org.

The inspiration for The Bird Sisters came to Rasmussen while reading her grandmother’s journals. Her grandmother lost both her parents at age 17, just after a crisis revealed the failings in their marriage. As she grew older, she grew away from her only sister. This novel is Rasmussen’s imaginings of what could have been, had the sisters learned to cling to each other rather than turn away. Learn more at www.thebirdsisters.com.

Rasmussen teaches creative writing and literature at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. Her stories have appeared in Triquarterly Magazine and the Mid-American Review. She was a finalist in both Narrative Magazine’s 30 Below Contest and Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Contest.

The focus of “Paul’s Book Club” is a novel set in rural Vermont, where the local villain is making life hellish for a young woman from parts elsewhere. Her boyfriend has fled the state in fear, and local law enforcement can do nothing to protect her. She resolves, however, to stand her ground and fight back.

In 2007 Ingram was a winner of the James Patterson PageTurner Awards, created and funded by best-selling author James Patterson to recognize individuals, companies, schools, and other institutions that find original and effective ways to promote the excitement of books.

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