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Rowell opens a new chapter

February  11, 2014

By day he is Augustana’s assistant director of admissions and diversity outreach. By night Eric Rowell is a writer. Rowell, from Rock Island, recently published his first book.

Rowell’s book, "The Manifested Melancholy Magnificent," utilizes the personas of the many people he encountered growing up to tell the fictional story of his youth. Characters include his mother and best friend who adored him, a father and aunt who loathed him, a self-conscious new bride, and others who offer hilarity, wisdom and their own personal perspectives on life’s tragedies and triumphs.

Rowell said, “'The Manifested Melancholy Magnificent' contributes both historical and sociological perspectives of the oft-viewed superficial and fast-paced decade, the 1980s, which at its heart was harsh, rhythmic and beautifully somber.”

He hopes readers will understand the lives led by the characters after reading. “I want them to have a flood of emotions as they read and feel they experienced something truly unique and wonderful,” said Rowell.

For more than 20 years Rowell has written poetry and prose. “I love writing. It is wonderful creating characters and plot lines out of thin air,” said Rowell, who dreams of becoming a great writer. “This work is hopefully the first of many I plan to put out.”

At this time, Rowell has two novels in the works. He’s collaborating with an African refugee on a non-fiction novel about the refugee’s life, and he is near completion on a novel about an autistic teenage boy and his uncle/guardian.

Rowell graduated from Augustana College in 1993, earning his bachelor’s in business. He also played basketball at Augustana and earned a trip to the national championship game during his senior year.

Since graduating Rowell has worked in numerous non-profit organizations, and in October 2000 he and his wife moved to India to coach basketball through the YMCA. Rowell also holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from St. Ambrose University.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu