Irish author and international reporter talks about novel linking Ireland and Kansas City

Taking ‘The Kansas City Star’ as a model newspaper for elements of his drama, Irish author and international journalist Sean Hillen will host a multi-media presentation at the Diastole Scholars’ Center about the research and writing of his recently-published novel PRETTY UGLY linking Kansas City with Ireland and beyond.

PRETTY UGLY is a high-concept, fact-based novel bridging media, medicine and modeling, focusing on the hidden dangers from toxic chemicals in everyday cosmetics and the severe lack of regulations controlling their use. Due to the lobbying power of this rich industry, the law regulating cosmetics has not changed since 1938, a year before outbreak of the Second World War.   ‘Pretty Ugly’ also focuses on the dramatically changing role of traditional media such as newspapers in the digital age of the Internet.

Hillen was former medical and science correspondent with The Kansas City Times before heading off to eastern Europe as Communism toppled and fell. There he became foreign correspondent for ‘The Times’ of London and ‘Time’ magazine and helped establish the first-ever journalism schools. He later became chairperson of the US Fulbright Commission.   Long-time friend of Dr. E. Grey Dimond, founder of UMKC medical school, Sean dedicated his novel to him. The lead character – handsome, charismatic ‘Dr. Gray’ (spelling changed deliberately) - is based on him. Sean also dedicated ‘Pretty Ugly’ to erstwhile friend, now deceased, Dunstan ‘Dusty’ McNichol, a former Kansas City reporter, who eventually won the Pulitzer prize.   Due to seating limitations, please RSVP to or here:

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