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Release: Immediate

Novelist Scott Spencer, visiting UI faculty member, will read April 16

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Novelist Scott Spencer will read from his most recent book at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 16 at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading is sponsored by the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and is free and open to the public.

Spencer is a visiting professor this spring in the fiction division of the Writers' Workshop. He is the author of six novels, including the best-selling "Endless Love," which was made into a major motion picture, as well as the highly regarded "Men in Black" (which bears no relation to the recent movie) and "Secret Anniversaries."

Spencer's latest novel, "The Rich Man's Table," tells the story of a legendary singer -- a god of music in the '60s and '70s -- as seen through the eyes of his illegitimate and unacknowledged son.

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt in the New York Times describes "The Rich Man's Table" as "a compelling portrait of a figure whose history 'is the history of the second half of 20th-century America'."

Spencer's earlier novels have also been widely praised. The New Yorker declares of Spencer's work: "His style is so precise and well-controlled that his characters' passions and transports never get in the way of their collisions with American reality and American manners."

The Los Angeles Times Book Review calls Spencer's "Men in Black" "The Cadillac of novels -- every word vibrating with a kind of shameless big-boned American grace."

Spencer has written for the New York Times, Esquire, The Nation, GQ, Rolling Stone and other publications. He has taught at Columbia University as well as at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.