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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 31, 2009

UI Press releases classic story collection by Lee K. Abbott on Sept. 1

bookcover"Wet Places at Noon," the new paperback edition of the classic short-story collection by Lee K. Abbott, will become available from the University of Iowa Press on Sept. 1.

The book will be 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

"Lee Abbott is a significant American writer, one of our culture's more compelling stylists, an acrobat of the word," National Book Award winner Bob Shacochis wrote. "Abbott's voice has the familiarity of a front-porch storyteller, the voice of the guy in every picture of every high-school prom who has what he wrongly thinks is a firm grip on life and love and from that point thereafter disappears into an unkind world."

Pulitzer Prize finalist Andrea Barrett commented, "Abbott writes like a fallen angel. These are wild, vibrant stories, caustic and sardonic, wildly funny and bitter as grief, full of passion and perfidy. As his characters crash through burnt-over landscapes and tune into 'the talk talked by worms,' they bring us an odd kind of hope."

Abbott's devil-may-care men are given to spectacular, ruinous acts; contradictorily passive and energetic, they fight their crazed interior and exterior ways. Abbott's community is pure Americana, a wild world inhabited by gloriously street-smart smartasses -- overeducated, underemployed men mourning for the confident women who have left them (or have they?) but knowing that equally confident women are just around the corner (or are they?).

Abbott is Humanities Distinguished Professor in English at the Ohio State University. His latest collection, "All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories," was published in 2006. He is also the editor of "Best of the Web 2009."

His short stories, reviews and articles about literature have appeared in Harper's, the Atlantic Monthly, the Georgia Review, the New York Times Book Review, the Southern Review, Epoch, Boulevard and the North American Review. His fiction has been anthologized in "The Best American Short Stories" and "The Prize Stories: The O'Henry Awards."

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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, University News Services, 319-384-0073,