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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 21, 2009

Winners of the 2009 Iowa short-fiction awards will become available Sept. 1

Winners of the 2009 Iowa short-fiction awards -- "How to Leave Hialeah" by Jennine Capó Crucet and "All That Work and Still No Boys" by Kathryn Ma -- will become available from the University of Iowa Press on Sept. 1.

The books are available at bookstores or directly from the UI Press, by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from the Eurospan Group online at

Ma's book won the Iowa Short Fiction Award, which has been presented annually since 1969. Her 10 stories probe the immigrant experience, most particularly among northern California's Chinese Americans, illuminating the confounding nature of duty, transformation and loss.

Curtis Sittenfeld, author of "American Wife" and "Prep," wrote, "With subtle intelligence and wry humor, Kathryn Ma brings us characters whose lives are complicated -- in all the best ways -- by family, race, immigration and quirks of personality. These wonderful stories have the resonance of truth even as they make you see the world in new ways."

Ma, a first-generation American whose parents are from Wuxi and Mengzi, China, was born and raised a Pennsylvania Quaker. Her stories have appeared in the Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, the Southwest Review, the Threepenny Review, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. She won the 2008 David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction for her title story; and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and "Best New American Voices." A lawyer and a Bread Loaf Scholar, she has taught in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon, and she is the founding board chair of the San Francisco Friends School.

"How to Leave Hialeah" won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, which was founded in 1998 in honor of the first director of the UI Press. Crucet's stories focus on the Cuban-American community of Miami, shaped by the people and landscapes of South Florida and by the stories of Cuba told by her family.

Charles Baxter wrote, "What a joy it is to read the work of a writer who has a powerful voice, a sense of humor, and a feeling for local histories. Jennine Capó Crucet's stories start with Cuban American neighborhoods and cultures and then sail off into the direction of the great themes: love, familial bonds, aging, and death. And resurrection. This is a wonderful collection."

Crucet was born to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, the Southern Review, the Northwest Review and other magazines. A graduate of Cornell University, she is the recipient of a Bread Loaf Scholarship and has been a finalist for the Missouri Review Editors' Prize and the University of California, Irvine, Chicano/Latino Literary Prize.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Means, UI Press, Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,