CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 1, 2002
MEMOIR OF AN IOWA CHILDHOOD IS PART OF LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS
Patrick Irelans Central Standard, a memoir of childhood
in Bloomfield, Iowa, published by the University of Iowa Press, will be one
of the new books featured in free readings on the Live from Prairie
Lights series during the week of Nov. 11-15 in the Prairie Lights bookstore
at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. All the weeks readings will
be broadcast on the Live from Prairie Lights series hosted by
Julie Englander on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910. The readings can be heard
on the internet at http://wsui.uiowa.edu.
The weeks schedule is:
-- a Veterans Day special featuring Iowa native Michael Luick-Thrams reading
from his Enemies Within at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11;
-- David Roosevelt, the grandson of Eleanor Roosevelt, reading from Grandmere:
A Personal History of Eleanor Roosevelt, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12;
-- Patrick Irelan, an editor for the UI Division of Continuing Education,
reading from his memoir of life in southern Iowa at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov.
-- Patricia Henley, National Book Award finalist for Hummingbird House,
reading from her new novel, In the River Sweet, at 8 p.m. Friday,
Luick-Thrams book collects the writings and drawings of Iowans held
in detention camps during World War II. A native of rural Mason City, Iowa,
he has also written about the experiences of German prisoners held in Iowa
in Camp Algona. And in Out of Hitlers Reach
he wrote about 185 refugees who found sanctuary at Scattergood School near
West Branch, Iowa, between 1939 and 1943.
Luick-Thrams has appeared as a guest lecturer at middle- and high schools,
colleges and universities, and cultural and religious institutions throughout
the U.S., Germany, South Africa, Australia and Uruguay -- and he has toured
Iowa for the Iowa Humanities Board.
David Roosevelt, who has retired from his career in the financial industry,
spent a significant part of his youth with his grandmother.
He has commented, Ive tried to write this book in a way that
my children and grandchildren will have a sense of who and what this incredible
woman was, and what her legacy means to them and their lives. I want them,
and others, to know her as I did, simply as a grandmother rather than the
First Lady of the World, as she was so often called.
In Central Standard, Ireland uses his fathers notebooks
to recall his familys days working and moving on the Rock Island Line.
Real life is so much more interesting than fiction, and Patrick Irelan
makes his family real wrote Evelyn Birkby, author of the Up a
Country Lane Cookbook. In his simple, straightforward style and
living view of the past, Irelan shows us a clear view of his familys
struggles and successes. We grieve for lives lost and dreams shattered. We
wonder at their survival during the summer of the drought and the years of
Depression on their small, infertile Iowa farm. We also gain a vivid picture
of the railroad and the depots where both his father and mother worked. Youll
like knowing these courageous, gutsy people and the time and place in which
Patricia Henley is a faculty member in the creative writing program at Purdue
University. In addition to Hummingbird House she has published
two collections of stories, Friday Night at Silver Star and The
Secret of Cartwheels, and a book of poems, Back Roads. Her
stories have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart
Andre Dubus III wrote of In the River Sweet and its grappling
with the personal legacies of the Vietnam War, With a poet's eye for
the essential and a novelists sweeping vision across space and time,
Patricia Henley illuminates here the wounds and yearnings of us all -- the
inherent destructive power of long-held secrets, the never-ending search for
spiritual wholeness, our deluded belief that a lasting state of grace is always
just out of reach. Gorgeously written and suffused with wisdom, In the
River Sweet is an absolutely superb novel from one of our very best!
Pulitzer Prize-winning UI alumnus Robert Olen Butler wrote, In her
remarkable new novel, In the River Sweet, Patricia Henley has
drawn directly on the events of the Vietnam War and its aftermath and yet
given them the universal resonance of high art. And shes done so within
a compellingly readable story. For those seeking to consider Vietnam beyond
the parochialism of politics, this book is essential reading.
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