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

Pulitzer-winner McPherson, UI faculty member, reads new work Jan. 24

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member and alumnus James Alan McPherson, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, will read from his new memoir, "Crabcakes," at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library.

The reading will be taped for future radio broadcast as part of the "Live at Prairie Lights" series, originating on WSUI, 910 AM, and hosted by Julie Englander.

After attending Harvard Law School, McPherson graduated from the Writers' Workshop in 1972, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1978 for "Elbow Room." The Boston Sunday Globe has described him as "a magic man of words."

As McPherson's first volume since "Elbow Room," "Crabcakes" has been eagerly anticipated by readers and critics. The book reflects on the professional and spiritual journey of his adulthood, including issues of family, race and belief.

In addition to the commitment McPherson has invested in teaching students in the Writers' Workshop, he has written short stories and essays that have appeared in many prominent periodicals, including the Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, the Iowa Review, the New York Times Magazine, the Nation, Esquire and Playboy.

McPherson's work has been anthologized in volumes including "Best American Short Stories" and "The O. Henry Award Short Stories." He has served on the selection committees of the Pulitzer Prize and other major literary awards.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, his honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the "genius grant."

McPherson has taught at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Harvard University, Morgan State University, the University of Virginia, Yale University and colleges in Japan.

The Jan. 24 reading is free, and the public is invited to attend.