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APSU alum book hailed by critics as "an arresting debut"

April 2, 2001

Former Clarksvillian and APSU graduate Neal Bowers is a poet of established reputation and the author of an acclaimed work of nonfiction, "Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a Plagiarist."

With his first novel, "Loose Ends," he brings his lyrical ear for language to a twisting, intriguing story full of quicksand details and siren's song prose--and it's set in the town of Clarksville. Davis Banks is a casual liar, a poetry professor, a childless, divorced, pass-out diabetic and now an orphan at the age of 45. From the middle-of-nowhere, Tennessee, he's made it all the way to the middle-of-not-much, Iowa. But Davis is going home for his mother's funeral, and he's discovering that the small life he tried to leave behind is more unlikely and inexplicable than any of the tall tales he contrives on his own.

Davis father is buried on top of the body of an unknown man. Davis' mother may have died in a motel room in the throes of an affair with a soldier from the nearby Army base. And Davis may be falling for Ann Louse, an old friend who is now a police detective trying to tie together all of Davis's life's loose ends.

"Loose Ends" is praised as "unsettling and full of wry, comic prose…the debut of a sophisticated talent," by "Book Magazine." Bowers will appear at a book signing at Books-a-Million Saturday, April 14, from 1 to 5. A reception will be held at 2. Austin Peay faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.