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Release: May 19. 2000


PHILLIPS READS MAY 31 -- Jayne Anne Phillips, an alumna of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from her new novel, "MotherKind," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 31 in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

Kate, the 30-year-old poet who is Phillips' central character, is faced with the twin challenges of raising a family and caring for her dying mother, whose ill health has forced her to move in with the family.

Alice Hoffman wrote of "MotherKind": "How do we continue on in the world when those we have always relied upon fall ill or are no longer with us? Jayne Anne Phillips writes about a loss of a parent with devastating clarity and true compassion."

"Family is partly a burden but also a treasure, because it is incredibly rich," Phillips has written. "The heart of it is kind of a mystery."

"MotherKind" is Phillips' third novel, following "Shelter" and "Machine Dreams." She has also published short story collections including the highly acclaimed "Fast Lanes" and "Black Tickets," and her short fiction appears in the "Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction."

Phillips has been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Bunting Fellowship. She won the 1980 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, a Pushcart Prize and a 1997 literature award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is currently a writer in residence at Brandeis University.