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Rick Hodges of Arlington has been tapped to appear at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Richmond later this month to speak on his debut novel, “To Follow Elephants.”

Hodges will share the stage with two other authors to discuss “Animals and Allegory” on Friday, March 20 at noon at the New Dominion Bookshop, 404 East Main St. The event is free.

In “To Follow Elephants” (published by Stormbird Press), a young American seeks his father in an African prison to learn the truth of why he is there. An African woman who is an elephant researcher helps him to learn the truth with the assistance of wild elephants.

“Though the human and animal characters don’t communicate with each other, they influence each other in ways that neither perceive at first,” Hodges said. “They soon discover they are far more alike than different, and they matter to each other much more than they thought.”

For information on the program, see the Website at www.vabook.org/program/animals-allegory. For information on the book, the see Website at https://stormbirdpress.

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