Indiana University

Indiana University Journalism

French on book tour for Zoo Story

Gena Asher | July 20, 2010
Tom French at book signing
Photo by Sarah Hutchins
Instructor Tom French signed copies of his new book, Zoo Story, at a bookstore in Tampa while on a book tour this summer. He'll talk to the crowd and sign books at two events in Ernie Pyle Hall Sept. 24-25.
Journalist Tom French, Riley Endowed Chair in Journalism, has made The New York Times' best-seller list, bantered with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report and now will talk about and sign his new book, Zoo Story, at Ernie Pyle Hall.

Anyone may stop by the Ernie Pyle Hall auditorium at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, to hear French talk about the book and sign copies.

He’ll also sign books at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, in the IDS newsroom as part of an open house for the Student Publications Alumni Association, a group of alumni who worked in student media during their IU years. French, BA'81, was editor-in-chief of the IDS who later won a Pulitzer Prize for his work at the St. Petersburg Times.

French spent six years tracking the stories of both the animals and the caretakers at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, and he tells their stories in the new book, which grew from a series of articles for the St. Petersburg Times.

French recounted some of those stories on the The Colbert Report on Comedy Central Aug. 18 shortly after the book cracked the New York Times' best-seller list. He appeared on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and other interview shows, and the book has been reviewed by many media organizations, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and People magazine. Parade magazine named Zoo Story a top pick.

French joined the school a year ago, and since then has taught narrative storytelling, among other classes. He also guided many of the students who worked on award-winning articles for the Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

tiger cub with french
Photo by Kelley Benham
During his reporting, French held a tiger cub, who had great interest in the notebook.

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