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New York Times recommends books by UI-connected authors for holidays
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Holiday shoppers whose lists include literature, and who
are attracted by the idea of supporting Iowa artists, might want to check
out the holiday recommendations in the Dec. 7 issue of the New York Times
Book Review. The review, which is part of the Sunday New York Times, recommends
many books by authors connected to the University of Iowa, as alumni or as
members of the faculty.
The publication's list of "Notable Books of the Year 1997" even
includes a volume published by the University of Iowa Press, "Wet Places
at Noon" by Lee K. Abbott, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, administered
by the UI Writers' Workshop.
The "Editors' Choice" list is headed by the novel "American
Pastoral," by former Writers' Workshop faculty member Philip Roth. Workshop
faculty member and alumna Jorie Graham, whose "Dream of the Unified Field"
won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, is represented on the "Notable
Books" list with "The Errancy: Poems."
The list of "Notable Books of the Year 1997 includes numerous other
titles by Writers' Workshop graduates: Tess Gallagher's "At the White
Owl Woman Saloon," Denis Johnson's "Already Dead: A California Gothic,"
Robert Coover's "Briar Rose," Suzanne Berne's "A Crime in the
Neighborhood," Chris Offutt's "The Good Brother," Bharati Mukherjee's
"Leave It to Me," Allan Gurganus' "Plays Well With Others,"
Steve Lattimore's "Circumnavigation," Kristin Bakis' "Lives
of the Monster Dogs," James Hynes' "Publish and Perish," Michelle
Huneven's "Round Rock" and Elizabeth McCracken's "The Giant's
House." Of those alumni writers, Johnson, Coover and Mukherjee have also
returned to the UI as guest faculty members in the workshop.
Other former workshop faculty represented on the "Notable Books"
list are Deborah Eisenberg for "All Around Atlantis," Anthony Burgess
for "Byrne," Frederick Busch for "Girls," former U.S.
Poet Laureate Robert Hass for "Sun Under Wood: New Poems," Kurt
Vonnegut for "Timequake," Amy Hempel for "Tumble Home,"
James Salter for "Burning Days: Recollection," Francine Prose for
"Guided Tour of Hell" and Angela Carter for "Burning Your Boats."
Honor Moore, who taught last year in the UI English department's literary
non-fiction program, made the list with "The White Blackbird."
One former Writers' Workshop faculty member is even the subject of one of
the books on the list, "Robert Penn Warren: A Biography" by Joseph
The New York Times Book Review's "Noteworthy Collection" of paperbacks
for the holidays includes "Tabloid Dreams" by Pulitzer Prize winner
Robert Olen Butler, a graduate of the UI department of theatre arts; and "Good
Evening Mr. & Mrs. America, and All the Ships at Sea" by Writers'
Workshop graduate Richard Bausch.