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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 9, 2000

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

WARNER READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 19 -- Sharon Oard Warner, director of the writing program at the University of New Mexico, will read from her first novel, "Deep in the Heart," at 8 p.m. Monday, June 19 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 University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

Although the book tells the tale of a woman who pursues an abortion against the wishes of the father, Warner says she didn't set out to write a book about a controversial issue. "The idea came out of a conversation I had with an old friend of my husband's," she says.

"He poured his heart out one night, lamenting the fact that he seemed to hook up with women who didn't feel any maternal urges. He really wanted to have children, but he didn't feel that it would happen. This made me consider the shift of balance of control in relationships between men and women, and how the advent of birth control has changed it."

Warner is the author of "Learning to Dance and Other Stories" and the editor of "The Way We Write Now: Short Stories from the AIDS Crisis." The founding director of the Taos Summer Writers' Conference, she is at the UI as a faculty member in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

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EARLEY READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 20 -- Acclaimed southern writer Tony Earley, author of the story collection "Here We Are In Paradise," will read from his first novel, "Jim the Boy," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 20 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 University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

"Jim the Boy" is a Depression-era coming-of-age story that critic James Marcus described as "a lovely, meticulous work -- a song of innocence and (eventually) experience, delivered with just a hint of a North Carolina accent."

A Publisher's Weekly article commented, "Simple, resonant sentences and a wealth of honest feeling propel this tracing of a 10-year-old boy's coming of age . . . Earley's debut novel carries us, in charmingly ungangly fashion, towards its moving, final epiphanies."

UI Writers' Workshop alumnus Colin Harrison, the deputy editor of Harper's magazine who "discovered" the Vanderbilt University faculty member, says, "There's something about Tony's sensibilities that's tragic that has to do with him personally and also has to do with the South. He is someone who feels that it's his burden and responsibility and duty, as well as his opportunity, to represent the South in literature. That doesn't mean he's narrowly a southern writer, [because] he's not. He's a national writer in importance and ability, but his identity is southern."

On the basis of his short fiction, Earley was tapped by Granta as one of America's 20 best young writers, and his work was featured in The New Yorker's issue of outstanding young fiction. His stories have twice been included in Best American Short Stories, and he has been honored with a National Magazine Award.

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

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STOLZ READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 22 -- Real pies will be served for dessert when University of Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate Karen Stolz reads from her new novel,
"World of Pies: Stories of Roxanne," at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 22 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.

A review in Booklist explains, "Like fine chocolates, these sequential stories about a girl named Roxanne growing up in Annette, Texas, have a smooth, sweet exterior that conceals a surprise inside.

"In the first vignette, set in 1961, tomboy Roxanne sees her parents in a new light during a town pie-baking competition when her mother gives credit to a black woman in a pie-baking contest rather than to the white woman who employed her. By turns humorous and touching, Stolz portrays Roxanne in her travels from girlhood to motherhood, introducing, along the way, Roxanne's dad, proprietor of Carl's Corsets; her cousin, Tommy, through whom readers experience the vicissitudes of the Vietnam War and its aftermath; and an assortment of other relatives, friends, and lovers."

Stolz says, "I hope readers will take the time to remember their childhood experiences of fireflies dancing in their yards, bowls of ice cream on the back porch, and the crisp, cold plunge into the swimming pool on Memorial Day to christen summertime. I also hope that readers will be reminded by my book that families can be our strength and our solace."

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

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FITCH READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 23 -- California fiction writer Janet Fitch will read from her Oprah's Book Club selection, "White Oleander," at 8 p.m. Friday, June 23 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 University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

"White Oleander," the story of an imprisoned mother and a daughter launched into life through the Los Angeles foster-care system, was enlarged from a short story published in Black Warrior Review that was selected as a distinguished story in Best American Short Stories 1994.

While the Oprah selection guaranteed that "White Oleander" would be a bestseller, the book also won wide critical acclaim. A review in the L.A. Weekly stated, " 'White Oleander' is crafted with an insight and grace that elevate it above mere 'beach fiction.' Fitch's hypnotic voice offers an honest and oddly seductive vision of L.A.," and the review in the New York Times Book Review said of Fitch, "her startlingly apt language relates a story that is both intelligent and gripping."

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Robert Olen Butler, a graduate of the UI department of theatre arts, wrote, "Janet Fitch writes with breathtaking beauty about the central theme of our age: the search for self. 'White Oleander' is a remarkable debut novel."

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.