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Release: Immediate

Novelist Robert Stone will give reading May 4 at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Novelist Robert Stone will read from his work at 8 p.m. Monday, May 4 in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. The reading, which is sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Stone is a major figure in American literature. He is the author of "Dog Soldiers," which won the National Book Award, as well as the story collection "Bear and His Daughter," which was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize. His other novels include the best-selling "Outerbridge Reach," "A Flag for Sunrise" and "A Hall of Mirrors."

His most recent novel, the highly acclaimed "Damascus Gate," is set in Jerusalem, where an expatriate American journalist stumbles on a plot to bomb the sacred Temple Mount. As in much of his fiction the journey depicted in "Damascus Gate" takes its protagonist deep into the regions of the 20th century that are most corrupt and disturbing.

Two of Stone's novels have been made into feature films -- "Dog Soldiers" became the film "Who'll Stop the Rain" starring Nick Nolte, and "A Hall of Mirrors" became the movie "WUSA" -- both with screenplays adapted by the novelist.

A. Alvarez, writing in the New York Review of Books, describes Stone's work: "He has always kept apart from the current fashion that confuses fiction with the art of the self. . . . Stone, who has a strong imaginative grip on the contemporary American scene and writes like an angel -- a fallen, hard-driving angel -- is also a marvelous storyteller."

Writers' Workshop director Frank Conroy writes of "Damascus Gate": "An astonishing and thrilling novel. By turns scary, funny and deeply moving. Prose at such a high pitch it sometimes seems hallucinatory. Stone is a genius."

Tobias Wolff concurs: "Relentless in its movement, astonishing in the power of its language, 'Damascus Gate' achieves a profound revelation of the bedeviled human soul -- its romantic, dangerous hunger for absolutes, its desperate attachment to mythologies that, against all odds, still create possibilities for courage and fidelity. A novel of singular ambitiousness, seriousness and understanding."

In addition to the National Book Award, Stone has won the L.A. Times Book Prize for "A Flag for Sunrise," the Faulkner Foundation Award for "A Hall of Mirrors" and an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, among numerous other honors.