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Release: May 12, 1999

UI graduates expand their award-winning book "Tight Spaces"

IOWA CITY —Three University of Iowa graduates have expanded their award-winning book "Tight Spaces," a book of essays that articulates black women’s commonly shared experiences including mother and daughter relationships, sisterly rivalry, and friendships.

Kesho Scott, Cherry Muhanji, and Egyirba High have added six new essays to the 1987 book that won the American Book Award for 1988.

The San Francisco Chronicle, in a review of the original book, described the three women as "talented writers who have folded and tucked novels and short stories into the slim, sketch pages of their mingled tight spaces. Their essays reveal the dark, familiar hiding spaces of many black women."

"Three of the most remarkable things about ‘Tight Spaces’ are its collective creation, its genre—defying genre and its stylistic innovations," wrote Women’s Review of Books.

The Detroit trio joined together to write the book after Scott had taken a course related to her doctoral studies. Scott encouraged High and Muhanji to earn their degrees from the UI, which they did; High earned a master’s degree, and Muhanji, a bachelor’s degree.

Scott is an associate professor of American studies and sociology at Grinnell College; Muhanji is a visiting professor of women’s studies at the University of Minnesota; and High lectures in the continuing education program at the University of Minnesota.

"Tight Spaces" is one of a collection of selected titles for Singular Lives: The Iowa Series in North American Autobiography, edited by Albert E. Stone.

"Tight Spaces" An Expanded Edition" (208 pages, $19.95 paperback, ISBN 0-87745-665-8) is available in bookstores or may be ordered directly from the UI Press by calling 1-800-621-2736.