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Author and Valley native Cathie Pelletier to read from new book at UMFK

September 16, 2005

NR05139

Cathie Pelletier

Accomplished author and St. John Valley native Cathie Pelletier will read selections from her recently released novel Running the Bulls, on Thursday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall teleconference room at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Pelletier, who is well known for several fictional literary works, will be on the UMFK campus, she once attended as a student, for the reading, which is open to both the campus and community.

In her latest work, Pelletier tells the story of Howard Woods, a man one year and six days into an unsatisfactory retirement, who is awaken in the early morning hours by his wife to hear the news of a decades-old betrayal.

The main character does not take the news well and upends his well-ordered life and to the dismay of his family, announces his intention of traveling to Spain to join in the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona.

Having thrown his life into chaos, Woods finds that his wife is no longer willing to restore it to order as she has always done in the past. He is now miserably committed to a Hemingway-inspired course of his own choosing but, with little idea of how to change it or to achieve the resolution he desires. Instead of at home, where he wishes to be, he ends up living at the Holiday Inn.

The book, which will be available for purchase at the UMFK reading and is on sale at the Country Cottage Bookstore and Gift Gallery in Fort Kent, has earned critical acclaim.

The publisher, University Press of New England, sums up the novel with the following: "How does a middle-aged man of the Eisenhower era (who still can't do his own laundry) survive in the age of cell phones and cable TV? The result is hilarious and, at times, achingly poignant."

The literary community is also praising this latest novel by Pelletier.

"Nobody walks the knife-edge of hilarity and heartbreak more confidently than Cathie Pelletier. In Running the Bulls, she's at her skillful, sure-footed best," says Richard Russo, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls.

Pelletier, the author of nine novels and UMFK alumna, has earned praise from literary critics throughout the country for her works including The Funeral Makers and A Marriage Made at Woodstock.

She has also written two pieces under the pseudonym K.C. McKinnon, including Candles on Bay Street and Dancing at the Harvest Moon, the later of which was made into a television movie for CBS starring Jacqueline Bisset and Valerie Harper. The movie was recently re-aired on the Lifetime Television Network and will air in the United Kingdom in early November.

Pelletier is the recipient of the New England Book Award for Fiction.

She currently resides in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee with her husband Tom Viorikic. She graduated from the University of Maine at Fort Kent in 1976 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1990. Pelletier received honorary degrees from Westbrook College and the University of Maine.