CONTACT: JENNY BURMAN
CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
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UI Writers' Workshop director Conroy joins French Legion of Honor
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Frank Conroy, director of the Writers' Workshop at
the University of Iowa, recently received the government of France's highest
cultural honor when he was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters.
The title was decreed during a ceremony at the French Consulate in Chicago.
Other recipients were Writer's Workshop graduate John Irving, E.L. Doctorow
and William Styron, all of whom, like Conroy, are widely read in translation
in France. Conroy's work has been very well received by the literary critical
community in France as well as by the general public.
The Legion of Honor was established by Napoleon. The title Chevalier
in the Order of Arts and Letters is similar to being named a knight by
"All my work has been published by Gallimard in France," Conroy
said. "I was particularly happy (about the honor) because my novel
'Body and Soul' is about music and the French seem to appreciate that."
Conroy is the author of the renowned memoir "Stop Time," widely
recognized as a modern masterpiece of American autobiography. Norman Mailer
called it "unique, an autobiography with the intimate, unprotected
candor of a novel."
Conroy's fiction includes the short-story collection "Midair"
and the novel "Body and Soul," which is informed by Conroy's
work for many years as a professional jazz pianist. Vanity Fair calls "Body
and Soul" "old fashioned, beautifully written and hypnotically
His stories and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ,
the Partisan Review and many other periodicals.