WRITER: JENNY BURMAN
CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Novelist John Casey will give reading April 9
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Author John Casey, winner of the National Book Award,
will read from his work at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 9 at Prairie Lights
Books, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading, which is sponsored
by the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Prairie Lights Books, is
free and open to the public.
Casey's latest novel, "The Half-Life of Happiness," has received
wide attention and praise. The book describes the meltdown of a marriage
against the backdrop of a gloriously awful congressional campaign. Casey
is also the author of books that include "Spartina," which won
the National Book Award, and "An American Romance," his first
and highly acclaimed novel.
New York Times reviewer John Leonard describes Casey as an author whose
"eye for color, texture, earth and sky is in superb working order.
His ear hears every nuance. His wit stings. Academic politics, the nature
of friendship, social insecurity, adolescent sexuality, literary criticism
and art itself are explored with a passionate sophistication."
Author Mary Lee Settle writes that "The Half-Life of Happiness"
is "one of the wisest and most prescient novels about the stumblers
and survivors of American life I have ever read. A compassionate, funny,
ominous story of the breakup of a marriage, seen over the shoulders of
a husband and wife and watched, commented on and remembered by two wonderful,
clear-eyed, no-nonsense children."
Amitav Ghosh writes: "'The Half-Life of Happiness' is riveting:
a richly exciting exploration of that turbulent frontier where the personal
intersects with the political. Casey is the Trollope of postmodern America."
About "Spartina," Time magazine declares: "Here is old-fashioned,
full-bodied fiction with a vengeance. . . . They do not make novels like
this very much anymore; John Casey deserves gratitude for being stubborn
and talented enough to do so and succeed."
Casey is a visiting professor this spring at the Iowa Writers' Workshop,
from which he also is a graduate. He is a professor of English literature
at the University of Virginia. He has been a contributor to publications
that include the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper's and Sports Illustrated.