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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: June 2, 2000

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

STUCKEY-FRENCH READS JUNE 12 -- Elizabeth Stuckey-French, an alumna of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from her recent short-story collection, "The First Paper Girl in Red Oak,, Iowa" at 7 p.m. Monday, June 12, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Former UI Writers' Workshop faculty member Janet Burroway wrote, "Inventive, irreverent, and riveting -- these stories come at you off the page. Didn't I know this paper girl? Didn't I meet that suburban sorceress, this crabby poet, that sweet delinquent, this mother-of-the-felon? Elizabeth Stuckey-French's characters charge straight out of Middle America, one part wacky and two parts doomed. That they are also resilient and funny makes this extraordinary collection a delight to read."

Stuckey-French's short fiction has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Gettysburg Review, the Southern Review and other literary magazines. At the UI she was a James A. Michener Fellow, and she has received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission.

Now a faculty member at Florida State University, she returns to Iowa City this summer to teach in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the UI.

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SOSIN READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 12 -- Minnesota writer Danielle Sosin will read from "Garden Primitives," her new collection of short stories, at 8 p.m. Monday, June 12, in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

Victoria L. Tilney wrote in the New York Times Book Review, " Sosin's economical and delicate stories capture unexpected moments of beauty and clarity." An article in Kirkus Reviews observed, "Sosin has a gift for the narrative hook. Many of these 12 stories place their protagonists in potentially humiliating situations, then watch them struggle out with varying degrees of grace."

Sosin, who lives in Saint Paul, was the winner of a 1999 Minnesota Arts Board fellowship.

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ALEXIE READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 13 -- Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian writer Sherman Alexie -- he considers Native American a "guilty white liberal term" -- will read from "The Toughest Indian in the World," his new collection of short fiction, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

Donna Seaman wrote in Booklist, "Alexie is an impassioned, inventive, and theatrical storyteller who subverts all our narrational and emotional expectations. It is a superb collection: his humor is swift and wry; his characters vital and complex; and his wild story lines express his clear-eyed view of Indian culture, his fury over racism, and his deep and abiding faith in love."

Alexie is famous for dramatic and provocative personal appearances -- Joanna Scott wrote in the New York Times Book Review that this two-time winner of the National Poetry Slam "has a reputation for mesmerizing audiences with his humor and fury."

He is the author of more than 300 poems, stories, essays and reviews, including a dozen books. He adapted his work for the feature film "Smoke Signals," an award winner at the Sundance Festival, and he is currently writing a screenplay adaptation of the "Scout" comic book series and a film adaptation of his first novel "Reservation Blues," the book that earned him a place on Granta's list of Best of Young American Novelists.

Other recognition has included the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award, the Murray Morgan Prize, a Hemingway Foundation Award Citation, PEN/Hemingway Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award and inclusion in the New York Times Notable Book of the Year list. He has received a Washington State Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship.

Critic Kent Chadwick wrote that Alexie "is one of the most important young writers in the United States. He is the Jack Kerouac of reservation life, capturing its comedy, tragedy and Crazy Horse dreams -- those are 'the kind that don't come true.'"

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GOLDBERG READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 15 -- Myla Goldberg will read from her first novel, "Bee Season," at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 15, in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

The book is the story of a previously unremarkable girl -- almost invisible in a brilliant, ambitious Jewish family -- who suddenly starts winning every spelling bee in sight., an emergence that has dramatic effects on everyone in her family.

Martha McPhee, author of "Bright Angel Times," wrote, "Myla Goldberg's Bee Season is a bittersweet coming-of-age in which wise little Eliza Naumann's quirky passion for spelling bees unites and divides her family while revealing universal truths about the often crippling pain of love."

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LEEBRON READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 16 -- University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus Fred Leebron will read from his new novel, "Six Figures," at 8 p.m. Friday, June 16 in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

In "Six Figures," Leebron chronicles the disintegration of an angry and frustrated man unable to cope with his business failures, the demands of his family and a brief flash of unwanted notoriety.

Rob Spillman wrote in the New York Times Book Review, "As a social critique, as a study in the evolving dynamics of a couple with young children and as a suspenseful story, 'Six Figures' is right on the money."

The Publishers Weekly review concluded, "This magnetic tale eludes tidy resolution, providing instead intriguing questions about whether anyone can really trust the ones they love," and Writers' Workshop faculty member Chris Offutt commented, "Written in taut prose, 'Six Figures' is an intense view of contemporary society -- the pressures of a two-career family, the tight scheduling of childcare and work, the quest for more money and a bigger home, and the terrible effects of random violence. These people could be any of us."

Leebron is the author of "Out West," the co-author of "Creative Fiction Writers Companion" and co-editor of "Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology." This summer he is a member of the faculty of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the UI.