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Release: Dec. 10,1999

New York Times recommends books by UI authors for holiday giving

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The New York Times has advice for literary-gift-givers who would like to support University of Iowa writers. Numerous books by UI alumni, and current and past faculty, are recommended in the Dec. 5 "Holiday Books" issue of the New York Times Book Review, the nation's most influential literary supplement.

Leading the list is "The Feeling of What Happens" by Antonio R. Damasio, head of the UI neurology faculty and the neurology department of the UI Hospitals and Clinics. Damasio's book about the nature of consciousness is one of 11 selections in the supplement's top category, "Editors' Choices," boosted as a book by "a gifted writer" that "will change your experience of yourself."

Among the recently published, UI-connected books recommended among the Times' "Notable Books of 1999" are:

-- "Ahab's Wife" by UI Writers' Workshop alumna Sena Jeter Naslund;

-- "Amsterdam" by former workshop faculty member Ian McEwan;

-- "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges" by workshop alumnus Nathan Englander;

-- "Losing Nelson" and "Sugar and Rum" by Barry Unsworth, who was a member of the Writers' Workshop faculty last year;

-- "Music for Torching" by controversial fiction writer A.M. Homes, an alumna of the Writers' Workshop;

-- "The Night Inspector" by Frederick Busch, former faculty member and interim director of the Writers' Workshop;

-- "On the Bus with Rosa Parks" by Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove, an alumna of the Writers' Workshop;

-- "Out of the Woods: Stories" by Chris Offutt, an alumnus and current visiting faculty member of the workshop;

-- National Book Award finalist "Plainsong" by workshop alumnus Kent Haruf;

-- "Someone to Watch Over Me" by workshop alum Richard Bausch;

-- "Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine: Stories" by alumnus and former Writers' Workshop faculty member Thom Jones;

-- "A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia: And Other Stories" by Russian fiction writer Victor Pelevin, a veteran of the UI International Writing Program;

-- "Who's Irish: Stories" by workshop alumna Gish Jen;

-- "Crossing: A Memoir" by UI College of Business faculty member Deirdre McCloskey;

-- "Home Town" by Tracy Kidder, another Pulitzer Prize-winning graduate of the Writers' Workshop; and

-- "The Immaculate Invasion" by workshop alumnus Bob Shacochis, a former winner of the National Book Award.

Among the New York Times' "Noteworthy Collection" of recently released paperbacks are "The Owl Woman Saloon: Stories" by alumna and former workshop faculty member Tess Gallagher; "I Married a Communist" by former Writers' Workshop faculty member and Pulitzer Prize-winner Philip Roth; "Reservation Road" by recent workshop faculty member John Burnham Schwartz; "Two Cities" by workshop alumnus John Edgar Wideman; and "The Tennis Partner" by Writers' Workshop alumnus Abraham Verghese.

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