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Release: Aug. 25, 2000


MALARKEY READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' SEPT. 7 -- Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna Tucker Malarkey, a former foreign-desk reporter for the Washington Post who collaborated with Haynes Johnson on "Sleepwalking Through History," the best-selling account of the Reagan era, will read from her new novel, "An Obvious Enchantment," at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The free reading will be broadcast on the "Live From Prairie Lights" series, originating on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The novel was inspired by Malarkey's two-year sojourn in Africa. The trip began as a three-month island sabbatical before starting a magazine job in New York. But instead of returning to the United States, Malarkey remained for two years teaching in Africa, and it was there that she wrote her first fiction -- work that became her ticket into the Writers' Workshop and a Michener Fellowship.

"An Obvious Enchantment" returns her imagination to the Kenyan island where she lived for her first year in Africa. In this romantic mystery/fantasy her protagonist goes searching for a missing professor in a world where women are possessed by spirit husbands and fresh curses are whispered over tea.

Margot Livesey wrote, "How cleverly Tucker Malarkey refashions the quest novel, and what a world of mirrors and mysteries she creates. I would happily have followed her heroine anywhere. 'An Obvious Enchantment' is as seductive as its title promises." And Peter Matthiessen called the book, "An exciting, intelligently imagined story, well written and well paced, with a very skillful use of place and atmosphere."

Malarkey currently teaches writing workshops in the Portland, Ore., public school system and is the editor-at-large for Tin House magazine, a literary journal based in Portland and New York.

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Malarkey's publisher, Random House, has a photo of her posted on this web page: <>.)