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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 9, 2009

UI Press announces winners of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Awards

Kathryn Ma from San Francisco and Jennine Capo Crucet from Los Angeles have been selected as the winners of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Awards from the University of Iowa Press.

Ma is the winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award for her collection "All That Work and Still No Boys," and Crucet's "How to Leave Hialeah" is the winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award. The recipients were selected by Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna Curtis Sittenfeld, author of the novels "Prep" and "American Wife."

Ma 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 Bread Loaf Scholar, she has taught in the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at the University of Oregon.

She is a first-generation American whose parents are from Wuxi and Mengzi, China, and she was born and raised a Pennsylvania Quaker. Her stories have appeared in the Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, Southwest Review, Threepenny Review, TriQuarterly and other periodicals. She is the founding board chair of the San Francisco Friends School. Ma is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

In "All That Work and Still No Boys" Ma explores how the individual, family and society connect and collide. She exposes the deepest fears and longings that we mask in family life and observes the long shadows cast by history and displacement. She also examines the immigrant experience, illuminating the confounding nature of duty, transformation and loss.

Crucet is a Miami-born Cuban-American writer and comedienne who is the first person in her family to earn a college degree; she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University.

Her writing has appeared in magazines including Ploughshares, the Northwest Review, and L Magazine, and it is forthcoming in the Potomac Review. Her fiction has been nominated for the "Best New American Voices" series, and she has worked as a freelance editor and as a writer for National Public Radio. Her forthcoming story collection also recently received third place in the 34th Annual Chicano/Latino Literary Prize.

The stories in "How to Leave Hialeah" do for Miami what Edward P. Jones does for Washington, D.C., and what James Joyce did in "Dubliners": They expand the ideas about a city by exposing its tough underbelly. The voices in her stories come from the predominantly Hispanic working-class neighborhoods of a steamy suburb of Miami, describing a rowdy, all-night funeral, fights on front lawns and life underneath abandoned overpasses.

Each of the two short fiction awards, given to a first collection of fiction in English, are administered through the Iowa Writers' Workshop. The Iowa Short Fiction Award has been given annually since 1969, and the John Simmons Short Fiction Award -- named for the first director of the UI Press -- was created in 1988.

Both books will be published by the UI Press in October 2009.

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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 Thomas, UI Press,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),