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CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: mary-geraghty@uiowa.edu

Release: Nov. 12, 2001

UI Center for Human Rights plans community book discussions

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Nine community forums open to the public will be held in various locations in Iowa City and Coralville in November as part of "All Johnson County Reads the Same Book," a county-wide reading project of the UI Center for Human Rights and others. Adult and adolescents in Johnson County have been invited to read and discuss "The Last Summer of Reason" by the late Algerian writer Tahar Djaout. The book, which was chosen for the project before the events of Sept. 11, involves a bookstore owner who is in a country being taken over by radical conservatives who want to reshape society to fit their rigid, moralistically extreme theology.

The community forums are scheduled as follows:

Nov. 15: 6:30-8 p.m. -- Java House, 211 1/2 Washington St. (Facilitator: Joyce Carman)

Nov. 18: 4 p.m. -- Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St., with panelists Beth Belding from West High School, Randy Brown from City High School, and students from West and City High schools (Facilitator: Randy Brown)

Nov. 19: 7 p.m. -- Terrapin Coffee Brewery, 1150-5th St., Coralville, sponsored by the Coralville Public Library (Facilitator: Teri Rogers)

Nov. 26: 1:30-3 p.m. -- Iowa City Senior Center, Room G08, 28 S. Linn St. (Facilitator: Joyce Carman)

Nov. 27: 7 p.m. -- City High School, Learning Media Center Library, 1900 Morningside Dr. (Facilitator: Randy Brown, with a teen-age and high school student audience)

Nov. 27: 7 p.m. -- West High School Library, Room 116, 2901 Melrose Ave. (Facilitators: Beth Belding and Carolyn VanZante)

Nov. 29: 7 p.m. -- City High School Learning Media Center Library, 1900 Morningside Dr. (Facilitator: Randy Brown)

Nov. 30: noon-1 p.m. -- Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, 123 S. Linn St. (Facilitators: Christopher Merrill. Peter Nazareth, and Burns Weston; broadcast live on the Iowa City Public Access TV)

Nov. 30: 9:30 a.m. -- Oaknoll Retirement Residence, 6th Floor Lounge, 701 Oaknoll Drive (Facilitator: Samuel Becker)

For additional information on these forums, please contact Dorothy M. Paul, UICHR Associate Director for Community Affairs, 319-338-1230 or <dorothy-paul@uiowa.edu>. For details about the overall project, consult the Web site for the UI Center for Human Rights at <www.uichr.org> where pertinent discussion notes and questions are posted. For an on-line discussion of the book, see <www.press-citizen.com>.

Project sponsors in addition to the UI Center for Human Rights are the UI International Writing Program, Prairie Lights Bookstore, the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, and the Iowa City and Coralville public libraries. Cosponsors include Hancher Auditorium, the UI Institute for Cinema and Culture, UI International Programs, the University Book Store, Iowa Book and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Iowa City High School and the West High School Library are also formal participants in the project.