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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Author Ann Hood named URIís 119th Commencement speaker

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KINGSTON, R.I. --May 3, 2005---When Ann Hood was a young girl growing up in West Warwick she preferred reading to playing outside. When she was 9, she was only allowed to check out one book per week at the local library. So she began writing her own books. She hasnít stopped.

The bestselling author, a 1978 University of Rhode Island graduate, will give the commencement address at her alma mater during undergraduate exercises on May 22. She will also receive an honorary Doctor of Arts from the University.

After graduating with honors in English from URI, Hood traveled the world as a flight attendant for TWA for nearly eight years. During that time, she earned her masterís degree from New York University, wrote her first book, and sold it for publication.

The novel, Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, hit the bestsellers list in 1987. Eight more books followed including Ruby and a memoir, Do Not Go Gentle: My Search for Miracles in a Cynical Time. Her latest book, An Ornithologistís Guide to Life, was published last year by Norton.

Hoodís short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Glimmer Train, Double Take, The Missouri Review, The Washington Post, Traveler, Bon Appetit, and many other publications. She has won a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction.

Hoodís connection with URI remains strong. She met and married businessman, entrepreneur, and book editor Lorne Adrain, an active 1976 URI alumnus, at an educational summit held during the celebration of the Universityís centennial. They live in Providence with their family.