The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Tobias Wolff will read at UI Nov. 9

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The short-story writer and memoirist Tobias Wolff will read from his work at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. The reading, sponsored by UI Writers' Workshop and the International Writing Program, is free and open to the public.

Described as a writer of dazzling emotional range and absolute authority, Wolff is one of the nation's preeminent fiction writers. He is the author most recently of the short-story collection "The Night in Question."

Wolff, who also has worked as an editor and journalist, is known particularly as a master of the short-story form as well as for his memoirs. "This Boy's Life" describes his turbulent childhood, and the National Book Award nominee "In Pharaoh's Army" is an account of his tour of duty as an officer in the Vietnam War.

Tim O'Brien says of Wolff's collection "Back in the World": "Tobias Wolff is dynamic. In his spare, cool, lucid prose, without gimmicks or artifice, he tells terrific stories. Terrific, I mean, in the classic sense -- he isn't afraid of drama. . . . The magic of his fiction cannot be explained. It is the ancient art of the master storyteller.

The late Raymond Carver, a UI alumnus and former faculty member, called Wolff's collection "In the Garden of the North American Martyrs" "The work of a young master. . . . I have not read a book of stories in years that has given me such a shock of amazement and recognition -- and such pleasure."

A New York Times review commended Wolff for his "boundless tolerance for the stupid sorrow of ordinary human entanglements and his command of eloquent detail."

Wolff's work is represented in more than 50 anthologies. His short stories have appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Antaeus and many other publications. He received the PEN/Faulkner Award for his novella "The Barracks Thief." The author also is the recipient of awards and fellowships that include a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Foundation Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award and a Wallace Stegner fellowship.

His memoir "This Boy's Life" was made into a movie starring Robert DeNiro, Ellen Barkin and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Wolff has been the editor of: "Best American Short Stories," "Matters of Life and Death: New American Stories," "The Picador Book of Contemporary American Stories," "A Doctor's Visit: The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov" and "The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories."