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Release: April 14, 2000

Susan Sontag reads from her new novel 'In America' April 27 at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Susan Sontag will read from her new novel, "In America," at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 27 in Macbride Hall Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus. The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

"In America" is based on historical events, told to depict a woman's search for
self-transformation. The main character is a Polish actress who travels with her family and a group of Poles to California in 1876 to found an "utopian" commune. When the commune fails, she returns successfully to the stage -- having become an American.

Sontag is the author of three other novels, "The Benefactor," "Death Kit", and "The Volcano Lover"; "I, etcetera," a collection of stories; several plays and film scripts, including "Alice in Bed"; and several works of nonfiction, including "Against Interpretation: And Other Essays," "Styles of Radical Will," "On Photography" and "Illness As Metaphor" and "AIDS and Its Metaphors."

Sontag's stature as an American literary and philosophical figure began in 1964 with the article "Notes on 'Camp' " in the quarterly Partisan Review. That article, which was reported on in news magazines, brought to national attention her new definition of "camp" as the "love of the unnatural, of artifice and exaggeration."

During the 1960s and 1970s Sontag's essays and observations, in publications including the Partisan Review and Commentary, had a strong influence on the American counterculture, making her one of America's most influential -- and most quoted -- intellectuals.

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at