WRITER: JENNY BURMAN
CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
IWP director Blaise reads from new novel March 17 at Prairie Lights
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fiction writer Clark Blaise, director of the University
of Iowa International Writing Program, will read from his most recent book,
"If I Were Me," at 8 p.m. Monday, March 17, in Prairie Lights
Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading, sponsored
by the UI Writers' Workshop, the International Writing Program and Prairie
Lights, is free and open to the public. As part of the "Live at Prairie
Lights" series, the reading will be broadcast live on WSUI radio,
The protagonist of "If I Were Me" is a psychologist who has
become world famous for his book on mind-robbing Alzheimer's disease, and
who travels the world seeking the meaning of a troubling dream that challenges
his sense of identity. The Toronto Sun called "If I Were Me"
a series of "classic Blaise stories -- the world they present, in
such a merciless, intense light, is unmistakably our world. . . . His fictional
alter ego is becoming ever more daring and desperate in his attempts to
fathom this world."
Recognized as one of the most outstanding voices in American and Canadian
letters, Blaise is described as a writer attuned to the dark side of our
culture, the undercurrents of American life and the manic nature of our
times. Born to Canadian parents in North Dakota, Blaise spent most of
his early years in the American deep South, where he attended 25 schools
before 9th grade. Later, he moved to Canada, of which he became a citizen.
"As a native-born American with foreign parents," Blaise says,
"I grew up with an outsider's view of America and a romanticized exile's
view of French Canada. . . . My interest is in tribalism on the American
continent and in all groups who refuse amalgamation and prefer codes and
taboos of their own."
"Clark Blaise," says the Minneapolis Tribune, " is one
of those rare writers who, by opening himself to us, makes it possible
for us to better know ourselves."
He is the author of the novels and short story collections "Tribal
Nights," "Lunar Attractions," "A North American Education,"
"Resident Alien," "Lusts" and "Man and His World."
He also has co-written books with his wife, novelist Bharati Mukherjee,
including "Days and Nights in Calcutta."
His short fiction has appeared in more than 30 anthologies, and "I
Had a Father," his "post-modern autobiography," won the
non-fiction book of the year honor in Canada's Authors Awards. Blaise has
taught in Montreal and Toronto, as well as at Skidmore College and the
UI Writers' Workshop, of which he also is a graduate.