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University of Iowa News Release

June 27, 2005

Wisconsin Fiction Writer C.J. Hribal Reads July 11 On WSUI

Award-winning fiction writer C.J. Hribal will read from his new novel, "The Company Car," at 8 p.m. Monday, July 11 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI 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.

"The Company Car" takes place mostly in the mind of Emil Czabak as he drives his family to his parents' to celebrate their 50th anniversary. He remembers growing up with them deep in the American Midwest and with wit and angst muses on the American family.

In a Booklist starred review, Carol Haggas wrote, "Emil Czabeck embarks on a trip down a memory lane that is full of emotional potholes. Yet for the reader of Hribal's raucous revisiting of family life in the last half of the last century, it is a trip that is as exhilarating as a ride on the most convoluted roller coaster . . .  Vividly atmospheric, irresistibly winsome, Hribal's loving paean to the American dream is as comforting and familiar as the classic '50s-era sitcoms it richly evokes."

Popular author Richard Russo recommended, "Ten pages into 'The Company Car,' you know you're in the hands of a masterful storyteller. C. J. Hribal's characters are as real as anyone we know in 'real life,' and their story is the story of America on the brink of monumental change. The canvas is broad, the sights and sounds true, the vision both hilarious and heartbreaking."

Hribal's previous work included the novels "American Beauty" and "Matty's Heart," and the fiction collection "The Clouds in Memphis," winner of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award in Short Fiction.

He received his creative writing degree from Syracuse University, where he studied under Tobias Wolff and Raymond Carver. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and he teaches at Marquette University and the Warren Wilson College writing program.

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

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