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Water: A Novel About Love, Lust, Politics, and Nitrates

Carl Wycoff
Downtown Business District from the SE 6th Street Bridge

Water quality is certainly an important topic in Iowa, but can it also be sexy and funny?

Jennifer Wilson thinks so, and she set out to prove it in her first novel, Water. The book takes on water quality and politics in Iowa, and it takes place against the familiar backdrop of Des Moines and Northeast Iowa.

On this Talk of Iowa interview, Charity Nebbe talks with Wilson about the book and its unconventional path to publication with t-shirt company RAYGUN. RAYGUN owner Mike Draper also joins the conversation to talk about the collaboration.

“It's interesting when you take water quality issues and put them into the context of a story," says Draper.  

“This book is not like Erin Brockovich where there is one nemesis and one protagonist,” he says. “You suddenly realize this is an issue that involves everybody from city to industry to farmers, and addressing it is so much more complicated than just regulating one particular thing.”

Brazilian 2wins' interview and performance
Credit Tony Dehner
Brazilian 2wins in Iowa Public Radio's Cedar Falls studio

In the third segment, the band Brazilian 2wins join for a live performance featuring new original music and an update on member Wagner's Caldas' battle with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Brazilian 2wins will be playing a show in Des Moines at Wooly's on March 25th.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dennis Reese is the mid-day host for Iowa Public Radio