English professor launching national tour for new novel

Event for “The Good Lieutenant” set for June 2

Whitney Terrell, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is launching a nationwide tour in support of his new novel with a special event June 2 at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

“The Good Lieutenant,” published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is the story of U.S. Army Lt. Emma Fowler. It opens with Fowler leading a patrol in Iraq that goes badly, then retraces the steps that led to the decisive battlefield moment.

According to a Publisher’s Weekly item, “The narrative moves in reverse chronological order from there, to show the events before the botched operation … Although this backward conceit has been used before, as in the Christopher Nolan film “Memento” and the Harold Pinter play “Betrayal,” it works particularly well in this story, which employs the structure to critique the follies of the Iraq War and the adamantine nature of the military mind-set.”

The June 2 event will feature Terrell in conversation with R. Crosby Kemper III, Executive Director of the Kansas City Public Library, and U.S. Army Maj. Stacy Moore, who served as a consultant on the book. The event is co-sponsored by Rainy Day Books and the Kansas City Public Library. It begins at 7 p.m. June 2 in the Temple Sanctuary, 707 W 47th St., Kansas City, Mo. Ticket packages include a hardcover copy of the novel, two admission tickets and a ticket for a book autographing session. Tickets are available at http://www.rainydaybooks.com/WhitneyTerrell.

Terrell is the author of “The King of Kings County” and “The Huntsman.” He is a graduate of Princeton University and has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His first novel, “The Huntsman,” was a New York Times Notable Book. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Details, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Observer, The Kansas City Star, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq during 2006 and 2010 and covered the war for The Washington Post, Slate, and NPR. He teaches in the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing & Media Arts at UMKC.

Terrell spent eight years researching and writing “The Good Lieutenant,” including extensive conversations with Iraq War veterans including Moore and former Sgt. Angela Fitle.

Advance reviews of the book include this:

“The Good Lieutenant is a wild Humvee ride of a novel that embeds us so deeply and so sympathetically in its beautifully realized characters (a young woman lieutenant and her platoon of male soldiers) we can scarcely draw breath until their journey comes to its harrowing conclusion. Whitney Terrell has written a deeply moving work of fiction to set beside Phil Klay’s “Redeployment” and Kevin Powers’ “The Yellow Birds,” with a singularity of vision uniquely its own.” – Joyce Carol Oates, author of “The Man Without a Shadow.”

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