CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 20, 2001
UI Writers' Workshop faculty member Ethan Canin reads from his new novel
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Writers Workshop faculty member
Ethan Canin, described by critic Alan Cheuse as "the most mature and
accomplished novelist of his generation," will read from his forthcoming
novel, "Carry Me Across the Water," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 2 at
the Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of
the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI,
910 AM -- is free and open to the public.
Joanne Wilkinson described the book for the American Library Associations
Booklist, "In Canins fourth novel, he tells the story of 78-year-old
German immigrant August Kleinman. Having recently lost his beloved wife and
sensing that the end is near, August flashes back to key moments in his past,
struggling to see the patterns that have shaped his life.
"He escaped Nazi Germany when he was just a boy, and his mothers
courage and counsel (Take the advice of no one) always stayed
with him. He fought in World War II, married his high-school sweetheart, had
three children, and made a fortune by starting his own brewery. August misses
his wife terribly and frets about what to do with his money, but the key moment
he returns to again and again is a frightening confrontation he had with a
young Japanese soldier in a cave. He ultimately decides to go to Japan, where
he intends to make reparations to the family of the young soldier."
Kirkus Reviews recommended the book as "A richly detailed, intriguingly
fragmented chronicle of the personal history and turbulent inner life of a
prosperous German-American businessman
It signals a new, and very promising
stage in Canins career."
Canin received a bachelors degree in English from Stanford University
before coming to the Writers Workshop for his Master of Fine Arts degree.
After graduating from the UI he attended Harvard Medical School, and he was
practicing medicine when he decided to abandon his career as a doctor and
dedicate the rest of his life to writing.
Canin made his acclaimed debut with the 1988 short-story collection, "Emperor
of the Air," winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, and
his subsequent work includes the collection "The Palace Thief" and
the novel "For Kings and Planets." His novel "Blue River"
is being re-released in paperback this spring.
A critique of "Emperor of the Air" in Kirkus Reviews called the
book, "one of the strongest first story collections in years, from a
generous writer with heart and style and the power to surprise." And
Walker Percy wrote, "Ethan Canins short stories are dazzling, at
times breathtaking, at other times heartbreaking."
"For Kings and Planet" was a Publishers Weekly "Best Book
of the Year" and was one of "Fresh Air's" Top 10 Books of the
Year. Newsdays critic called "For Kings and Planets," "Breathtaking...
Outstanding. ..Scott Fitzgerald himself would have been honored by his company."
A Booklist review of "The Palace Thief" stated, "If one were
to diagram Canin s fictional form, it would have to be of classical
proportions: clean, noble, and golden."
For more information on this reading, call the Prairie Lights bookstore
at (319) 337-2681. For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
-- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.