Books by Jill Ciment and Mary Robison of the English Department are on Oprah Winfrey's list of 25 books to read this summer.

Above: Books by Jill Ciment and Mary Robison of the English Department are on Oprah Winfrey's list of 25 books to read this summer.

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Jill Ciment and Mary Robison

Head of the CLAS

When Oprah Winfrey reads a book, millions follow – and this summer, they’ll be reading the works of two University of Florida English professors.

For her 2009 25 Books You Can’t Put Down Summer Reading List, Oprah selected Mary Robison’s One D.O.A., One on the Way and Jill Ciment’s Heroic Measures. Robison and Ciment are both faculty in the Graduate Creative Writing Program.

Robison, a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and frequent contributor for the New Yorker, is thrilled to be a part of the selection.

“Oprah has done a lot to help bring people back to reading. It’s very exciting.”

Ciment, a winner of the Kafka Prize for Fiction and co-director of the Creative Writing Program, agrees.

“I’m honored and amazed to be on the list. It’s an extraordinary event.”

The Creative Writing Program at UF is one of the oldest writing programs in the United States. Begun in 1948, the program is ranked in the top twenty programs by US News & World Report.

Heroic MeasuresHeroic Measures

by Jill Ciment
English
(2009, Pantheon)
Available through Amazon

A gasoline tanker truck is “stuck” in the Midtown Tunnel. New Yorkers are panicked . . . . Is this the next big attack?

Alex, an artist, and Ruth, a former schoolteacher with an FBI file as thick as a dictionary, must get their beloved dachshund, whose back legs have suddenly become paralyzed, to the animal hospital sixty blocks north. But the streets of Manhattan are welded with traffic. Their dog, Dorothy, twelve-years-old and gray-faced, is the emotional center of Alex and Ruth's forty-five-year-long childless marriage. Using a cutting board as a stretcher, they ferry the dog uptown.

This is also the weekend that Alex and Ruth must sell their apartment. While house hunters traipse through it during their open house, husband and wife wait by the phone to hear from the animal hospital. During the course of forty-eight hours, as the missing truck driver terrorizes the city, the price of their apartment becomes a barometer for collective hope and despair, as the real estate market spikes and troughs with every breaking news story.

In shifting points of view—Alex’s, Ruth’s, and the little dog’s—man, woman, and one small tenacious beast try to make sense of the cacophony of rumors, opinions, and innuendos coming from news anchors, cable TV pundits, pollsters, bomb experts, hostages, witnesses, real estate agents, house hunters, bargain seekers, howling dogs, veterinarians, nurses, and cab drivers.

A moving, deftly told novel of ultrahigh-urban anxiety.

- Publisher

One D.O.A., One on the Way: A NovelOne D.O.A., One on the Way: A Novel

by Mary Robison
English
(2009, Pantheon)
Available through Amazon

From the house author and long-time favorite "writer's writer," the effortlessly smart, deliriously off-kilter story of an extended New Orleans family trying to reclaim a shadow of their former selves.

Mary Robison, author of Why Did I Ever-winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, a New York Times Notable Book, and Book Sense 76 Pick- has written a new novel that is certain to gather as much attention and wild acclaim.

The story opens on Jay, a location scout for a movie production company. It's the easiest job in the world; at the end of the day, she says, they should just ask her how it went and say "Super. Sounds like you had a good time." She is complacently married to Alt, who has just been diagnosed with a grave illness and gone back to his palatial family home, back to the care of his parents.

Which is just fine with Jay-or so she tells herself at the start. But standing left of center of this still prosperous but mortally wounded family does not get easier as the weeks wear on. As she tries to negotiate her way around the anger of Saunders, Alt's despised twin brother; maintain her friendship with Petal, his beautiful wife; and protect what's left of the innocence of Collie, the niece caught in the middle, Jay finds more than the Louisiana heat getting to be oppressive.

With her trademark biting humor and breathtaking facility with language, Mary Robison thus sets the stage for a beguiling Southern Gothic sure to delight both her fanatical following and new readers alike.

-Publisher

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