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Rae Meadows And "I Will Send Rain" On Thursday's Access Utah

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 Annie Bell can't escape the dust. It's in her hair, covering the windowsills, coating the animals in the barn, in the corners of her children's dry, cracked lips. It's 1934 and the Bell farm in Mulehead, Oklahoma is struggling as the earliest storms of The Dust Bowl descend. All around them the wheat harvests are drying out and people are packing up their belongings as storms lay waste to the Great Plains. As the Bells wait for the rains to come, Annie and each member of her family are pulled in different directions. Annie's fragile young son, Fred, suffers from dust pneumonia; her headstrong daughter, Birdie, flush with first love, is choosing a dangerous path out of Mulehead; and Samuel, her husband, is plagued by disturbing dreams of rain. As Annie, desperate for an escape of her own, flirts with the affections of an unlikely admirer, she must choose who she is going to become.

 

Rae Meadows’ new novel “I Will Send Rain,” inspired by a Dorothea Lange photograph, is a story of motherhood and family, resilience, longing, fierce love, and hope. Meadows will headline an event at The King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City on Thursday, August 18, at 7:00 p.m.

Born in Brussels, Rae Meadows grew up in suburbs of Cleveland and San Diego before attending Stanford University as an Art History major. After years in advertising she wrote her first story, which led to local workshops and eventually the MFA program at the University of Utah. While in Salt Lake City, she answered phones at an escort service, the experience of which inspired her first novel.

“Calling Out” received the 2006 Utah Book Award for fiction and was named an Entertainment Weekly Must Read, a Book Sense Notable Novel, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and one of the Best Books of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. Meadows was also named one of five Poets & Writers Debut Writers to Watch. Her second novel, “No One Tells Everything,” was named a Notable Novel by Poets & Writers and was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2008 Anne Powers Fiction Prize. “Mercy Train” (released in hardback as “Mothers and Daughters”) was chosen as a Target Emerging Authors selection and has also been published in Italy, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, where it was a bestseller.

Her stories have appeared in various literary magazines including the Mississippi Review, Avery Anthology, and Washington Square, and her writing has also appeared online at Nerve, More Magazine, and NPR. She and Alex Darrow co-wrote the screenplay adaptation of Calling Out, optioned by Sound Pictures. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.