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University of Iowa News Release


April 14, 2009

Jane Hamilton will read her new novel on 'Live from Prairie Lights' April 23

Popular novelist Jane Hamilton will read from her new book, "Laura Rider's Masterpiece," at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The free event will be streamed live on the University of Iowa Writing University Web site,, and then be available through the Writing University archive.

Laura Rider and her husband, Charlie, live in Hartley, Wis., where they own and run Prairie Wind Farm. After 12 years of marriage, Laura decides to introduce a few changes to her routine, the first being to stop sharing a bed with Charlie, and the second to indulge in her secret fantasy -- to become an author.

Laura decides to write a romance and encourages a flirtation between her husband and a local public radio host, an experiment that she thinks will help her write her book.

A review in Publishers Weekly stated, "Oprah-anointed Hamilton once again takes readers to the Midwest, this time lacing her narrative with winning humor . . . (T)he female characters are sharply observed and delineated, and the humorous tone will be an appealing surprise to Hamilton's readers."

Hamilton is the author of "The Book of Ruth," winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction, and "A Map of the World," a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and named one of the top 10 books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, the Miami Herald and People.

Both "The Book of Ruth" and "A Map of the World" have been selections of Oprah's Book Club. Her following work, "The Short History of a Prince," was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998, her novel "Disobedience" was published in 2000, and her last novel, "When Madeline Was Young," was a Washington Post Best Book of 2006.

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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 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell)