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Revisiting Julie Berry and "The Passion of Dolssa" on Monday's Access Utah

Viking Books

Julie Berry was inspired to write her new historical novel, “The Passion of Dolssa,” while listening to a college lecture she found online about medieval France. Fascinated, Berry began a two-year dive into research on the era, learning about the lives of several medieval female mystics like Clare of Assisi, Marguerite Porete, and Catherine of Siena, women who rejected marriage, almost unheard of at the time, and bucked the authority of the church with their own religious visions. “The Passion of Dolssa” is set during the 13th Century in southern France (the area now known as Provence), in the aftermath of the Albigensian Crusade.

On Wednesday’s AU, we’ll talk about the surprising number of parallels between the issues facing people in the 13th Century and the issues we’re facing today. We’ll also talk about some of Berry’s other work, including “All the Truth That’s in Me,” and “The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.” One reviewer, speaking of the last-mentioned book said “...If David Sedaris and Agatha Christie had a child, it would be Julie Berry.”

Julie Berry grew up in western New York. She holds a BS from Rensselaer in communication and an MFA from Vermont College in writing for children and young adults. She now lives in southern California with her husband and four sons. “All the Truth That’s in Me” (2013, Viking) was Berry’s first novel. It earned five starred reviews and garnered widespread critical praise. It was nominated for the Edgar Award for Young Adult Mystery, and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal (UK), and was the recipient of the 2014 Silver Inky award, the Whitney Award for YA, and the Westchester Fiction Prize. Berry is also the author of seven other critically acclaimed titles for young readers. Her works appear in international versions worldwide. Prior to becoming an author, she worked in software sales and marketing. She is online at www.julieberrybooks.com, and on Twitter at @julieberrybooks.

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.