CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 7, 2002
Offutt and Hall will read at Prairie Lights
The early-summer schedule of free Live at Prairie Lights readings
includes University of Iowa Writers Workshop faculty member Chris Offutt
on Friday, June 14, and workshop alumna Sands Hall on Thursday, June 20. The
8 p.m. readings in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown
Iowa City will be broadcast live on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen
on the internet at < http://wsui.uiowa.edu
will read from his widely reviewed new book, No Heroes: A Memoir of
Coming Home, and Hall, a teacher in the UI Summer Writing Festival,
will read from her novel Catching Heaven.
Offutts book explores the meaning of home, through his
experience of returning to his native ground in Appalachia and the accounts
of his in-laws, who were Holocaust survivors.
Janet Maslin wrote in the New York Times, Offutt is a wonderful raconteur,
sharp-eyed and self-effacingly funny even as he appreciates the essential
mournfulness of his experience. In this slender, captivating book, he captures
the full arc of his homecoming adventure. Read the full review at: <http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/21/books/21MASL.html?ex=1018331963&ei=1&en=b3bafb8e41e753fb
For the Seattle Times, Irene Wanner wrote, Offutts affection
for the land and people -- this new book is dedicated to his first-grade teacher
-- has earned him praise as an author who knows first-hand about hillbilly
life, yet treats the subject and, particularly, the spoken dialect, with great
care and skill. . . his gift to readers is substantial. The full review
may be accessed on the web at: <http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgibin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=heroes07&date=20020407
Offutts work includes the earlier memoir The Same River Twice,
the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of
the Woods, and the novel The Good Brother.
is not only a fiction writer, but also a teacher, playwright and actress.
She has been a featured cast member in the UI professional theater company,
Iowa Summer Rep, and hold the Master of Fine Arts degree from the UI Department
of Theatre Arts. In addition to Catching Heaven, a Ballantine
Reader's Circle Selection, her work includes the play Fair Use
and stage adaptations of Little Women and Pulitzer-winning UI
alum Wallace Stegners Angle of Repose.
Amy Tan wrote, Sands Halls first novel, Catching Heaven,
is rich, warm, and utterly satisfying. It speaks to choices and mistakes that
connect and separate us, as well as the human will to repair itself. This
is a wonderful debut from a first-rate storyteller.
A critique in the New York Times Book Review observed that the book, Deftly
reveals the push and pull between two sisters who love each other dearly,
but who face new tensions when their lives collide in midcourse. And
Karen Joy Fowler called Catching Heaven, a book that contains
some of the realest fictional people you'll ever meet.
Hall has taught in the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and the University
of California, Davis, Extension Programs, and she writes, acts and directs
as an affiliate artist of the Foothill Theatre Company in Nevada City, Cal.
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