CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 19, 2002
LEEBRON READS LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS AUG. 27
of Iowa Writers Workshop alumnus Fred Leebron will read from his new
novel, In the Middle of All This, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27 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, and hosted by Julie
Englander. Listen on the internet at http://wsui.uiowa.edu
A Publishers Weekly preview summarizes: This third novel by Leebron
(Out West; Six Figures) tells the story of Martin
Kreutzel, an anthropology professor at a small Pennsylvania college. Happily
married and the father of two children, Martin watches his life collapse around
him when he learns that his beloved sister, Elizabeth, is ill with cancer.
Suddenly, Martin, the scientist whose preferred method is that of the observer-participant,
can neither observe nor participate, unable to cope with his sisters
imminent death, unable to decide whether mercy meant denial or acceptance.
When his sisters husband, Richard, disappears, Martin flies to
London to be with Elizabeth, leaving behind a house falling apart and a college
struck by a series of tragedies. Shortly after Martins arrival Richard
mysteriously returns and whisks Elizabeth off to an undisclosed location,
leaving Martin in an empty house, futilely awaiting their return. In his sisters
absence, Martin must learn to accept not only the loss of her life but the
validity of his.
Leebron tells most of his open-ended story from Martins viewpoint,
providing an uneasy glimpse into the psyche of a man torn apart, a man forced
to acknowledge grim realities and to realize that life in the middle
of all this meant that life was the middle of all this.
Leebrons exceptional skills as a storyteller and observer of humanity
produce a novel both tremendously enjoyable and grandly poignant, a novel
almost anthropological in its keen examination of mans fate.
Leebron is the co-author of Creative Fiction Writers Companion
and co-editor of Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology.
He has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, a James Michener Award,
a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, and two
fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His stories have appeared
in Grand Street, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and other periodicals.