University Relations and Communications

Acclaimed author to visit MSU Billings

November 29, 2010



Jessica Smothers, Student Success Coordinator, 657-2021
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Thomas Mullen to talk about ‘The Last Town on Earth’, set in 1918 flu epidemic


Thomas Mullen

MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Thomas Mullen, the author of the acclaimed “The Last Town on Earth,” will be making a special appearance in Billings this week to talk with students, faculty and staff at Montana State University Billings.


Mullen’s book discussion will be Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Petro Theatre on the MSU Billings main campus. The event is free and open to anyone.


book cover of The Last Town on Earth

“The Last Town on Earth” is set in the fall of 1918 when both a world war and an influenza epidemic rage outside the fictional isolated logging community of Commonwealth, Wash. In a climate of fear, rumor and patriotic hysteria, the town enacts a strict quarantine, posting guards at the only road into town. During the quarantine, one stranger is shot and killed, setting off a chain of events that change people forever. Characters in the book confront moral dilemmas, political repression and the nature of community.


Mullen’s book was selected this semester as the shared reading experience for freshmen students enrolled in ASC294, the First Year Seminar class offered at MSU Billings. The class focuses on giving freshman students a solid foundation for not only making the transition from high school to college, but also an academic focus community issues and challenges.


Mullen will spend the day talking with students about the book, his research and the writing process. His book discussion will be the culmination of a day of work with students and faculty in smaller groups.


For more information on Mullen’s appearance, contact Jessica Smothers, MSU Billings Student Success Coordinator, at 657-2021.