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EIU Media Relations

Best-Selling Author Sarah Vowell to Appear at Doudna Fine Arts Center


Sarah VowellSarah Vowell, a best-selling author whose humorous commentary on America's past and present is a staple on late-night talk shows, public radio and the pages of leading publications, is coming to Eastern Illinois University's Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Vowell will take the stage in the Dvorak Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. April 9 to share her observations on the connections between the American past and present.

Her personal, often humorous accounts typically cover everything from presidents and their assassins to colonial religious fanatics, as well as thoughts on American Indians, utopian dreamers, pop music and the odd cranky cartographer.

Vowell’s most recent book, "The Wordy Shipmates," examines the New England Puritans and their journey to and impact on America. She reveals how American history can show up in the most unexpected places in our modern culture, often in unexpected ways.

Her 2005 book "Assassination Vacation" is a haunting and surprisingly hilarious road trip to tourist sites devoted to the murders of presidents Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. Vowell examines what these acts of political violence reveal about our national character and our contemporary society.

She is also the author of two essay collections, "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" and "Take the Cannoli." Her first book, "Radio On," is her year-long diary of listening to the radio in 1995.

Vowell was a contributing editor for Public Radio International’s "This American Life" from 1996 to 2008. She produced numerous commentaries and documentaries and toured the country in many live shows.

She was an original contributor to McSweeney’s, also participating in many of the quarterly’s readings and shows. She has been a columnist for, Time and San Francisco Weekly and continues to write occasional essays for the opinion page of the New York Times.

Vowell has made numerous appearances on the "Late Show with David Letterman," "Late Night with Conan O’Brien" and the "Daily Show with Jon Stewart." She is the voice of teen superhero Violet Parr in Pixar's Academy Award-winning "The Incredibles."

Vowell is the president of the board of 826NYC, a nonprofit tutoring and writing center for students aged 6-18 in Brooklyn.

Tickets are $20 each and may be purchased in the Doudna Fine Arts Center box office (217-581-3110) from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or one hour before each performance. Tickets may also be reserved via e-mail at

The Doudna Fine Arts Center, a division of EIU's College of Arts and Humanities, is located one block west of Ninth Street at Garfield Avenue in Charleston.

For more information, visit the Web site at



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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