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University of Iowa News Release

June 23, 2005

Fiction Writer Cathy Day Reads From 'The Circus In Winter' July 7 On WSUI

Cathy Day will read from her short-story cycle, "The Circus in Winter," just re-released in paperback, at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 7, on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen on the Internet at The reading, hosted by Julie Englander, will be a free event in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Day grew up in an Indiana town where circuses wintered, and she drew on that experience to create a cycle of stories about the private lives of circus people in the off-season. The book was a finalist for the Story Prize, made's list of best 2004 debut fiction and the Kansas City Star's list of the best 100 books of 2004, was an editor's choice by Entertainment Weekly, and was featured as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.

Wendy Smith wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "Redolent of sawdust and tinsel and rich in the particulars of circus history, this lovely book reminds us that the conflict between the desire for freedom and the need for security, between wanting to invent a new identity and knowing who you are, takes place in every human heart."

Baltimore Sun critic Michael Pakenham wrote, "There is dazzling joy when into the hands of a critic there falls a book of such deftness and vision that it defies conventional superlatives. Such a book is 'The Circus in Winter' by Cathy Day."

And Gary Krist wrote in the New York Times Book Review, "In 'The Circus in Winter'. . . [Day] succeeds in appropriating much of the garish pungency of the world of freaks, geeks and sideshow Houdinis without succumbing to its ready banalities . . . This is one circus act that doesn't rely on dependable gimmicks to keep the audience aroused."

Day's fiction and non-fiction have appeared in "New Stories from the South," Story, the Antioch Review, the Southern Review, Shenandoah and elsewhere. The recipient of a Bush Artist Fellowship and a New Jersey Arts Council Grant, Day earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Alabama, and she teaches in the graduate writing program at the University of Pittsburgh.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,