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Release: May 25, 2001


EARLEY READS JUNE 5 -- Tony Earley will return to the "Live from Prairie Lights" series with a free reading at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 5 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. "Live From Prairie Lights" is a broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM.

The reading was prompted both by the paperback release of Earley’s acclaimed debut novel, "Jim the Boy" and the release of his new collection of essays "Somehow Form a Family: Stories That Are Mostly True," which a Kirkus Reviews article described as, "Poetic, inspiring proof that you can go home again."

Candace Smith wrote of "Somehow Form a Family" for the American Library Association’s Booklist: "A true child of the ‘60s, the author’s most vivid memories are the 1969 moon landing and the TV shows that filled his evenings. Woven between recollections of crushes on Jan Brady and dreams of investigating for ‘Hawaii Five-O’ are keen observations on family relationships and poignant memories of his teenage sister who was killed in a car crash. . . .

"Earley draws the reader in with his deceptively simple prose and a sharp eye for the telling detail. A willingness to share painful memories, including his struggles with depression and a sometimes dysfunctional family life, makes these memoirs especially effective."

"Jim the Boy" is a Depression-era coming-of-age story that critic James Marcus described as "a lovely, meticulous work -- a song of innocence and (eventually) experience, delivered with just a hint of a North Carolina accent."

A Publisher’s Weekly article commented, "Simple, resonant sentences and a wealth of honest feeling propel this tracing of a 10-year-old boy’s coming of age . . . Earley’s debut novel carries us, in charmingly ungainly fashion, towards its moving, final epiphanies."

On the basis of his short fiction, Earley was tapped by Granta as one of America’s 20 best young writers, and his work was featured in The New Yorker’s issue of outstanding young fiction. His stories have twice been included in Best American Short Stories, and he has been honored with a National Magazine Award.

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UI LAW FACULTY MEMBER READS TRANSLATION JUNE 6 -- Marc Linder, a faculty member in the University of Iowa College of Law, will read from his translations of "The Slave," "Day Laborers" and "The New Times" by Danish novelist Hans Kirk at 8 p.m. Wednesday, 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.

The new translations continue Linder’s series of English-language editions of Kirk’s fiction, following the first English translation of "The Fisherman," Denmark’s all-time fiction bestseller.

Kirk wrote "The Slave" in 1941-42 while he was imprisoned on the orders of the Nazi occupation forces in Denmark. After he escaped from a detention camp in 1943, the Nazis destroyed the manuscript and all of Kirk’s research materials, so he started again from scratch and the novel was eventually published in 1948. "The Slave" is an historical allegory, set in 1679 on a Spanish galleon carrying a huge cargo of gold from the New World colonies to Spain. Through the adventures of a colorful cast of characters, Kirk addresses the issue of what responses are appropriate to tyranny.

Linder encountered Kirk’s writing when he was teaching at the Roskilde University Center in Denmark more than 25 years ago. Linder long dreamed of introducing Kirk’s fiction to English-language readers before beginning work in the 1990s.

Linder specializes in labor law and is the author of books including "Of Cabbages and Kings County," "European Labor Aristocracies," "The Supreme Court in Nazi Germany: A Jurisprudential Analysis," "Migrant Workers and Minimum Wages: Regulating the Exploitation of Agricultural Labor in the United States" and "Void Where Prohibited," a 1998 book about factory workers’ bathroom rights. Linder represented migrant farm workers at Texas Rural Legal Aid for seven years.