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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 26, 2006

New Writers' Workshop Director Chang To Read At Feb. 3 Literary Luncheon

The new director of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop's, author Lan Samantha Chang, will read from her work when UI President David Skorton and Professor Robin Davisson host their next Literary Luncheon Friday, Feb. 3, at the president's residence, 102 Church St.

A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., followed by the reading at noon with time for questions and answers concluding at 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the first 35 people who respond by calling 319-353-2475. Preference will be given to individuals who have not previously attended a literary luncheon.

Chang, an alumna and former visiting faculty member in the workshop, took over as the workshop's director in January, following the death last year of longtime director Frank Conroy. Her most recent work, the novel "Inheritance," followed an acclaimed fiction collection titled "Hunger: A Novella and Stories." Chang's fiction has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares and "The Best American Short Stories." Her work has been translated into more than a half-dozen languages.

Chang has been honored as the California Book Award Silver Medalist, as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and with a Bay Area Book Award and literary awards from the Greensboro Review and the Transatlantic Review. Her work has also been nominated for the PEN Center USA West Award and the PEN/Hemingway Literature Prize. At the UI, she was the winner of the James-Michener-Copernicus Award. She has received fellowships from Stanford University, Princeton University, the Radcliffe Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, Yadoo and the McDowell Colony.

Before taking over as workshop director at the UI, Chang was the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in creative writing at Harvard University. She has also taught at Warren Wilson College and Stanford University, as well as at the UI Summer Writing Festival, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Napa Valley Writers' Conference, the Sarah Lawrence Summer Writers' Conference, the Asian American Writers' Workshop and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass.

Anna Shin wrote in the Seattle Contemporary Review of Asian American Literature, "Chang's restrained prose enthralls with its sheer elegance, gaining power as much from what is left unsaid as from that which is articulated. Ms. Chang also has the rare ability to fashion tales whose cumulative sum is greater than their individual parts; in her characters' lives, one finds a depth of meaning made universal not despite its specificity, but because of it."

The Literary Luncheon series is a continuation of a program begun during the 2004-05 Year of the Arts and Humanities, celebrating the UI's rich tradition in writing and letters by spotlighting the many writing programs at the UI and making them accessible to a broader public. Future programs in the Literary Lunches series will feature faculty and staff associated with UI literary programs including the Writers' Workshop and the Nonfiction Writing Program.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please call 319-353-2475 in advance.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.