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University of Iowa News Release

 

April 3, 2007

Mountain Climber Turned Humanitarian Reads At Prairie Lights April 17

Mountain climber and nurse Greg Mortenson will read from "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time," just released in paperback, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live via the University of Iowa Writing University Website: http://writinguniversity.uiowa.edu.

Mortenson was returning from a failed ascent of K2 when he was taken in by tribal Pakistanis. He has since repaid their kindness by building 55 schools for girls in the Karakorum mountains, efforts that have won him numerous humanitarian awards.

"Three Cups of Tea" was Time magazine's "Asia Book of the Year," and it also won the 2007 KIRIYAMA Prize Nonfiction Award.

Tom Brokaw described the book as, "Thrilling . . . proof that one ordinary person with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world.

When the account was originally released in hardcover, a starred review in Publishers Weekly summarized, "Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse's unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, is one of them.

"Dangerously ill when he finished his climb in 1993, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town's first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Coauthor (David Oliver) Relin recounts Mortenson's efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, ambitious school girls and upright Muslims Mortenson met along the way. As the book moves into the post-9/11 world, Mortenson and Relin argue that the United States must fight Islamic extremism in the region through collaborative efforts to alleviate poverty and improve access to education, especially for girls.

"Captivating and suspenseful, with engrossing accounts of both hostilities and unlikely friendships, this book will win many readers' hearts."

The Writing University Web site provides a handy portal to the UI writing programs, including the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the International Writing Program, the Nonfiction Writing Program, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, the Translation Workshop, the UI Press and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. The site also centralizes writing news, lists upcoming events and provides access to a wealth of writing materials: texts, journals, lists of Iowa-connected writers and publications, historic videos and archived audio. Visitors to the site have the option of subscribing to an RSS feed.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; winston-barclay@uiowa.edu