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Campus Notes is provided by the University of Iowa News Services and contains general interest information for the UI community about events taking place at the UI, events broadcast about people associated with or news about the University scheduled for broadcast by area media.

Release: May 26, 2000


WILLIAMS READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 6 -- Utah-born naturalist writer Terry Tempest Williams will read from her new book, "Leap!" at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 6 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.

Donna Seaman wrote for Booklist: "In a provocative narrative notable for its flow and lyricism, Williams expresses her profound response not to the outdoors but to a world born of the imagination, the triptych known as 'The Garden of Delights,' by the 15th-century Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch. As a Mormon child, Williams slept beneath reproductions of the two outer panels of this fabulously detailed masterpiece, yet she never knew of the existence of the central painting, 'The Garden of Earthly Delights,' a veritable pageant of sensuality, until she stood, thunderstruck, before the original in the Prado Museum.

"The sight of Bosch's nearly hallucinatory vision of life in all its elaborate fecundity sparked an epiphany so powerful Williams embarked on a life-altering study of the painting she chronicles. Like a biologist in the field, she watches the painting as though it were alive; she even uses binoculars, much to the amazement of the museum guards, to identify the birds Bosch so accurately portrayed, as well as all the fruits, flowers, and figures ecstatic and tormented, graceful and grotesque. Williams gives herself over wholly to the experience, even writing from within the painting's lushly detailed and wildly inventive landscapes, an immersion that gives rise to extraordinarily revelatory leaps of thought."

Mark Doty, a former faculty member of the UI Writers' Workshop, wrote, " 'Leap' does what we hope literature can do -- rinse the reader's gaze, refreshing our sight and making the world new again."

Williams other works include the books "Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place," "Coyote's Canyon," "Desert Quartet: An Exotic Landscape," "An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field" and "Pieces of a Shell: A Journey to Navaholand."

She has been the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was also recognized by the Utne Reader as a "visionary," one of the Utne 100 "who could change your life." A recipient of the National Wildlife Federation's National Conservation Award for Special Achievement, she was recently inducted into the Rachel Carson Institute's Honor Roll.

JOHNSTON READS 'LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS' JUNE 8 -- Newfoundland author Wayne Johnston will read from his recent bestseller, "The Colony of Unrequited Dreams," at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 8 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.

A cover-story review in the New York Times Book Review propelled "The Colony of Unrequited Dreams," a fictional account of the rise of Newfoundland premier Joey Smallwood, onto the bestseller list, but this story of two lovers and their adversaries set against the emergence of Newfoundland also won critical approval elsewhere The book was nominated for the Griller Prize and the Governor General's Award in Canada.

Andrea Barret wrote, "This entertaining novel is both a version of David Copperfield transposed to 20th-century Newfoundland and an evocation of vanished ways of life in a place caught in tumultuous political changes. Rich and complex, it offers Dickensian pleasures."

Johnston is the author of four previous novels, including "The Divine Ryans," which was adapted for cinema in a feature starring Pete Postlethwaite and "The Story of Bobby O'Malley," which won the First Novel Award in 1986.

A Montreal Gazette article described Johnston as "one of the most distinctive comic talents this country has produced since Mordecai Richler."