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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 1, 2006

Chicago Fiction Writer, Essayist S.L. Wisenberg Reads Nov. 13 On WSUI

Chicago fiction writer and essayist S.L. Wisenberg will read from "Holocaust Girls: History, Memory and Other Obsessions," at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The reading, hosted by Julie Englander, will originate at a free event in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

"Holocaust Girls," which was published in hardback in 2002, has just been reprinted in paperback.

Critic George Cohen wrote, "'You don't have to be Jewish to be a Holocaust girl,' Wisenberg posits in the first of her 24 perceptive essays, 'but it helps.' In other essays she speaks of the Jews' daily acceptance of the mystery of oneness with God, of visiting Franz Kafka's grave while attending a conference on anti-Semitism in Prague in 1992, and of a trip to Theresienstadt concentration camp, which is now a museum and where the tourists tote cameras and eat ice cream.

"Wisenberg, author of 'The Sweetheart Is In' (2001), remembers how she and her sister hid in the closet of their Texas home in the 1960s, pretending that Nazis were looking for them, and how she regretted not having observed all the traditional Jewish rituals at her father's funeral. With her lucid style and power of observation, Wisenberg's insightful essays are gems not to be missed."

Phillip Lopate observed, "Wisenberg has perfected 'the small personal voice' that Doris Lessing advocated as the healing consolation we seek in literature. Her lyrical essays are acutely honest, intelligent, sensitive, funny, touching, and magnificently rewarding."

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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; cell: 310-430-1013;