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Release: Aug. 18, 2000


SHERRILL READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' SEPT. 1 -- Poet and fiction writer Steven Sherrill, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from his debut novel, "The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break," at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The free reading opens the fall "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

Sherrill follows the minotaur -- the famous mythological labyrinth creature who possesses the body of a man and the head of a bull -- through two weeks of his life as a cook at a steakhouse in the contemporary South. Time and circumstances have diminished the minotaur's power considerably, leading to his mundane job and his lonely life in a run-down trailer park.

A review in USA Today praised the book for its "brilliant imagination" and concluded that "Every page is a delight worth savoring for a millennium or two."

The critic of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote, "As revisionist mythology, Sherrill's novel is darkly intelligent and sometimes dazzling. [His] Minotaur is a complex and sympathetic creation, conspicuous yet socially invisible. What's more, he's here to stay. . ."

And an April 30 review in the Chicago Tribune gushed, Sherrill "reveals himself as that most endangered of literary species, a crafty, talented novelist who's not afraid to show his heart."

Sherrill was the recipient of a Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fellowship to the MacDowell Colony. His poems and stories have appeared in Best American Poetry, the Kenyon Review,
ACM: Another Chicago Magazine, the Georgia Review and the Mid-American Review.