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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

URI alumnus Michael Keith to read from latest book

The Next Best Place: A Father and Son
on the Road winning great reviews

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 2, 2003 -- An accomplished writer who earned his advanced degree from the University of Rhode Island English Department will return to his alma mater on Thursday, April 10 to share some of his experiences and read from his latest work. The event, sponsored by the URI Writers Collaborative, is free and open to the public and will be held in the Hoffmann Room of Independence Hall at 4 p.m.

Michael Keith of South Easton, Mass., one of the nation’s leading scholars on broadcast media—radio in particular, will read from his new memoir, The Next Best Place: A Father and Son on the Road. Just released by Algonquin Press, the book has critics raving. It tells the story of his childhood spent crisscrossing the United States, "perpetually en route to someplace else" with his alcoholic father.

Told in the fresh, funny, world-wise voice of the young boy he once was, Keith describes the days spent at rundown rooming houses and homeless missions while his father worked odd jobs for money to move on or for a decent donut at the AA meetings they attended in every city. Despite their peculiar life, there is real love between father and son. The Next Best Place explores the fine line between running away and arriving, ultimately leaving the reader with the understanding that the journey is often more powerful than the destination.

Newsday calls the book "a charming and light-hearted hybrid of On the Road and Stand by Me . . . a picaresque, comic romp with an undertow of melancholy more affecting for its subtle counterpoint."

The Boston Globe comments "Keith recounts his tale with novelistic intensity . . . what a strange, sad story it is: Huck Finn meets Jack Kerouac."

"Told with clarity of recall and dispassionate candor ... a moving and thoroughly engrossing testament to the resilience of the human spirit, " according to USA Today.

A senior lecturer of communication at Boston College, Keith’s books include Signals in the Air, Voices in the Purple Haze, Sounds in the Dark, and Talking Radio. Keith also authored several textbooks, including the most widely adopted text on radio in the U.S., The Radio Station, and is the co-editor of the book series, Media, Communication, and Culture in America. He is a former broadcaster and past chair of education for the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

For more information contact URI English Professor Karen Stein, 874-4663

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