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Release: July 12, 2002

UI Alumna Elizabeth Stuckey-French To Read

Elizabeth Stuckey-French, an alumna of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and a faculty member in the UI Summer Writing Festival, will read from her first novel, “Mermaids on the Moon,” at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading will be broadcast live on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910, as part of the “Live from Prairie Lights’ series. Listen on the internet at < >.

A review in Publishers Weekly called the book a “wonderfully quirky debut novel. . . . The author's talent for creating unconventional characters and her clear insight into human nature converge in this page-turning tale centered around a group of older women who become young again as they glide and cavort in a special underwater world where fantasy and reality rarely collide.”
Molly Gorman wrote for the Library Journal, “As refreshing, crisp, and tangy as a summer drink, this is a beguiling read.”

And Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler, also a UI alum, wrote, “Elizabeth Stuckey-French succeeds brilliantly in a remarkable and difficult and enormously entertaining artistic challenge: she portrays the antic surface of popular culture and reveals the profound human yearnings beneath it. ‘Mermaids on the Moon’ is a funny, smart, and deeply affecting novel, and with it Elizabeth Stuckey-French emerges as one of our finest young writers.”

Stuckey-French’s short fiction has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Gettysburg Review, the Southern Review, Five Points and other literary magazines. At the UI she was a James A. Michener Fellow, and she has received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission.

Now a faculty member at Florida State University, she in her second term teaching at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. “I love teaching fiction writing,” she told the Atlantic Monthly. “Aside from actually writing, it's what I like to do best. Granted, as a teacher I pour a lot of creative energy into other people's work, but I like talking about writing, reading and discussing stories with my students, and watching their stories develop.”

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