News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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April 3, 2014

Author of ‘The Bunco Club’ to visit Marshall Library April 12 for signing, book talk

Karen DeWitt’s career as a professional artist became challenged when multiple sclerosis minimized the use of her right hand. As she struggled to stay creative, she not only trained her left hand to produce artwork, she also began work on her first novel. “I’ve always loved to write, so when one door closed to me, I jumped at the chance to open a new one.”

DeWitt discovered that her attention to detail in her artwork had crossed over into writing. After eight years of countless rewrites, edits and polishing, “The Bunco Club” was ready for publication.

DeWitt’s first novel, the book will be available for sale from the author after a book talk at 1 p.m. CDT April 12 in Marshall, Ill., Public Library.

At the heart of “The Bunco Club” is a story about women and friendship. DeWitt admits she drew inspiration for her novel from the bond she shares with the women in her own Bunco group, but makes it clear that her novel is purely fiction.

Set in Chicagoland, the book follows the lives of eight quilters as they gather once a month to play the popular no-skills dice game. Eight women, eight months, eight individual tales merge into one story of friendship.

DeWitt realized there was potentially a huge audience for her book when Procter & Gamble cited that an estimated 59 million women have played Bunco and more than 27 million play regularly. The author said, “I know a lot of women look forward to Bunco night with their friends, but I had no idea the numbers were so great.”

DeWitt’s Bunco group has met for more than 20 years and she also is a life-long quilter. She holds a master of fine arts degree in studio art and has attended workshops at the renowned Iowa Summer Writing Festival. DeWitt lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband.

DeWitt also plans to give a program for the National Road Quilt Guild on April 13. The library and the Quilt Guild are sharing the cost of DeWitt’s visit. Guild members will display some of their own quilts in the library through April.  

Call 217-826-2535 or email marshallpubliclibrary@gmail.com to register for the free program. The library is at 612 Archer Ave.

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