|‘We Bought a Zoo’ author to speak at Milner Library|
|Written by Jenny Jackowski, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Thursday, 19 April 2012 11:59|
Benjamin Mee, author of “We Bought a Zoo,” will be at ISU Monday, April 23. At 3 p.m. he will be doing a Q & A session at Milner Library and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. speaking on his book and career in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center. Immediately following the talk, the author will be signing books at Barnes and Noble.
“Benjamin Mee … was a newspaper columnist. It was in the United Kingdom, and the column was Do It Yourself…little home improvement tips and things like that. In writing that column, he was basically able to live wherever he wanted,” Toni Tucker, assistant dean for enabling infrastructure at Milner Library, said.
While looking for a new home, Mee came upon an ad for a large farmhouse that was for sale. When he went to view the farmhouse, he discovered it came with the zoo it was located in. The owners required whomever bought the house and zoo also had to keep the zoo running.
“Most people ran away, but he thought ‘this is fabulous.’ The zoo was in the English countryside,” Tucker said.
At the time, Mee’s two children were young and excited about owning a zoo. A little while after purchasing it, Mee’s wife was diagnosed with brain cancer. His book, “We Bought a Zoo,” tells the story of the purchase and how it helped him and his family get through the tough time.
“They brought this zoo from nearly being closed back to a world famous zoo themselves. It’s really a heart strings kind of story,” Tucker said.
The book was made into a movie and released in 2011 staring Matt Damon as Mee and Scarlett Johansson.
The talk on Monday night will be about Mee’s experience living on and taking care of the zoo and the way in which it helped his family grieve. He will also talk about the experience of writing the book.
The Q & A section of the day is open to the public where Mee will answer specific questions on his book and other work.
All of Mee’s appearances are free and open to the public. More information on the events can be found at Milner’s website under the Events and Exhibits banner at Library.IllinoisState.edu.