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Release: April 30, 1999

Pulitzer winner Kidder, graduate of the UI Writers' Workshop, reads May 10

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Tracy Kidder, an alumnus of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from his new book, "Home Town," at 8 p.m. Monday, May 10 at the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Sponsored by the Writers' Workshop and Prairie Lights, the reading is free and open to the public.

The reading will be broadcast on "Live from Prairie Lights," originating on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910.

"Home Town" is a portrait of Northampton, Mass., through the eyes of former police detective Thomas O'Connor. Kidder, who spent many months with O'Connor on his nightly law-enforcement shifts, said, "It's about an old American town seen in the reflection of some of the lives that live inside it. I was thinking about what we call, for lack of a better word, civilization, what makes a place a decent place to live. It's not a Norman Rockwell town more than any other town."

"Tracy Kidder's gift as a writer is one that is also often associated with certain great center fielders: a grace that makes the difficult look effortless," said Writers' Workshop faculty member Stuart Dybek, author of "The Coast of Chicago."

Jonathan Harr, author of "A Civil Action" says Kidder's latest book is "rich with a sense of place, woven like a tapestry, animated by the lives within it, both past and present. It takes you back at once to the glorious innocence of childhood and to the inevitable tragedies of adult life."

Kidder is the author of four other books: "The Soul of a New Machine," "House," "Among Schoolchildren" and "Old Friends."

In addition to the Pulitzer prize, he has won the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award and many other literary prizes.