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Release: Immediate

UI Press publishes winner of John Simmons Short Fiction Award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A collection of short stories by a Michigan bus driver and dispatcher who won the 1997 John Simmons Short Fiction Award has been published by the University of Iowa Press.

"Within the Lighted City," by Lisa Lenzo, is a collection of nine stories centering on characters in or from Detroit. Lenzo introduces readers to the Zito family and others as she narrates the confrontations, loves, losses, and joys the characters go through against a backdrop of a turbulent period in race relations and other changes in American culture.

Ann Beattie, judge for the 1997 competition, praised for the stories for their gritty, yet hopeful, explorations of what happens when boundaries are crossed.

"In this collection we are offered more a of a landscape than a map, yet its interlocking pieces gradually form a whole that seems greater than the sum of its parts," Beattie says. "In some way, it would seem we've all walked there."

The UI Press established the John Simmons Short Fiction Award in 1988, naming the prize after the first director of the UI Press. The competition is also conducted by the UI Writers' Workshop.

Lenzo's stories have appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, New England Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Third Coast, the PrePrss Awards: A Sampler of Emerging Michigan Writers, and Sacred Ground: Writing about Home. She received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award in 1992.

Lenzo lives in southwestern Michigan where she works as a driver and dispatcher for the public transportation system.

"Within the Lighted City" is available at bookstores nationwide for $19.95 clothbound. The book can also be ordered from UI Press by calling (319) 384-3808 (for calls within Johnson County) or 1-800-235-2665 (outside Johnson County).

Information is also available at the UI Press website: